Honda e:Ny1 set to be renamed at upcoming facelift

Honda is changing the naming of its electric cars after customers found the e:N badging too difficult to pronounce.

The Japanese brand unveiled the new naming system at the Beijing motor show, starting with the Ye P7 large SUV that will go on sale in China later this year.

Honda UK imports its sole EV, the e:Ny1 small SUV, from China, where the e:N naming convention comes from, and the name will be changed when the car is facelifted, a source close to Honda said.

“Customers in China just can’t pronounce it,” the source told Autocar.

The update, expected next year, will also incorporate some of the design features of the P7, including the illuminated Honda badge, the source said.

In China, Honda uses either the e:NS1 or e:NP1 name for its small electric SUV, depending on whether the car is made by its joint venture with Dongfeng or that with GAC, while in Europe it uses e:Ny1.

Under the new naming scheme, Honda in China has kept the P and S letters depending on which joint venture builds the car, meaning it could in Europe rename the car the Y1.

Keeping the Y element would also avoid awkward conversions with McLaren or Audi if using the P1 or S1 name.

Audi has been very protective of its naming system, last year forcing Chinese EV maker Nio to change the name of its ES6 and ES8 SUVs on the basis that they sounded too much like S6 and S8.

The new P7/S7 is the first of Honda’s new Ye Series cars, based on a newly developed EV-specific platform. Honda has said it will launch a total of 10 new EVs in China by 2027.

The separate EV branding is part of a strategy by Honda in China to move its brand upmarket in the switch to electric in an effort to better compete amid a brutal price war. 

The switch to the new naming and design language came too late for the new e:NS2 mid-size hatchback, which has just gone on sale in China at ¥159,800 (£17,700) – a price so cheap that Honda loses the equivalent of £5500 per car, the source said. 

The e:NS2, which could potentially follow the e:Ny1 to Europe, has a 68.8kWh battery pack for a CLTC range of 339 miles.

Honda sells the e:Ny1 in the UK from £39,995, although it has been giving heavy discounts (currently £3000, with finance at just 1.9% APR) in an effort to hit its ZEV mandate target for 2024.

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