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We Did The First Independent Honda Prologue DC Fast Charge Test

At the media launch of the all-new 2024 Honda Prologue, I knew drive time would be fairly limited. Honda folks had us scheduled to scoot around on their suitcase-sized e-scooter for roughly as long as we had with the actual vehicle we all came to drive.

But towards the end of our couple hours with the vehicle, we decided to make a beeline to the local Electrify America quick charger. Not realizing until later that other groups of drivers had been asked not to DC quick charge these Prologues.

Whoops.

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Fast charging has been a challenge for the Prologue’s siblings

The Honda Prologue is actually built by General Motors and is closely related to the Chevrolet Blazer EV. That car essentially shut down during an InsideEVs fast-charge test, and sales have been halted since. Will the Prologue have the same problems?

I never quite heard why some folks were asked by Honda to avoid testing this key capability, even if we figured going in that the Prologue’s 150 kW max DC quick-charging speed was not going to break any records for speed or sloth. Perhaps it was because these were still final prototypes, near production-level intent but prototypes nonetheless.

Which seemed a touch strange, since the Prologue is set to arrive in dealers imminently. It’s slated to start deliveries in March to California plus the other CARB-following states, and BEV-friendly markets like Texas and Florida, then later in the rest of the country, says Honda.

 

Official DC Max Charge Rate Of 150 kW (Almost) Achieved

As soon as we decided to carve out some time to try a quick DC fast charge, we began hunting for a way to pre-condition the battery manually—and happily found it! It gave us a quick indication that it was on once set, but there was no way to tell after that initial indication whether or not it was still operating, which is unfortunately an issue in other EVs as well.

We saw on the Prologue’s navigation system (and confirmed via Plugshare) that there was a working Electrify America station in town capable of testing the Honda’s 150-kilowatt (kW) max charge speed.

We navigated to the charger using the Honda’s native navi, which also automatically enacts the battery pre-conditioning, though there was no indication when we selected the charger that battery warming was already happening—or an option to activate, as some of the best systems offer.

Another interesting note: once the navigation directions to a charger were set, the Prologue’s large 11.3-inch center screen displayed a much more precise state-of-charge value than the very general 100-50-0% linear battery gauge that surrounds the speedometer. Yes, a specific range in miles (or kilometers) is shown as well, but sadly I never found a way to constantly show a precise SOC figure.

We pulled into the EA station at a state of charge of 43 percent, with heavy rain starting and 53-degree Fahrenheit ambient temperatures. Temperatures throughout our drive varied from 50-55F, so between those and the just-under-half state-of-charge, the conditions were far from ideal for hitting max DC charging speeds.

Vehicle Honda Prologue Chevy Blazer EV Cadillac Lyriq Tesla Model Y
Base Trim Price $47,400 $56,715 $58,590 $42,990
EPA Range 296 279 314 310
Battery Size (kWh) 85 85 102 75
Claimed DC Charge Rate (kW) 150

150   

190 on Long Range

190 170
Observed DC Charge Rate (kW) 131 Unknown 188 210

But still, conditions could have been much worse too. It was likely warmer February temperatures than half the country at that point—and more conducive for better DC charging rates there than for folks who regularly see snow this time of year.

Within a minute of inserting our credit card and activating the EA station, we were at 128 kW impressively quickly, just under the max 131 kW peak we’d briefly see in our 10-minute quick charge test, holding within five kilowatts of these speeds the entire time.

Perhaps most importantly, the car didn’t shut down and die during our fast-charging test, as the related Chevrolet Blazer EV did during an InsideEVs’ Electrify America charging session late last year. That alone is a good sign.

Battery Pre-Conditioning Game Strong: Automatic Upon Navigation, With A Manual Option

Inside, the Prologue didn’t indicate the charging speed in clear kW speeds, leaving us to peer through the wet windshield to try to decipher what was on the screen. The Prologue’s center screen indicated our charge speed as “+370 mi/hr”, and suggested it would take 40 minutes to charge from the 43 percent that we started at to a 90 percent charge. A slider on the screen allowed the driver to easily toggle this down to 80 percent, or lower if desired.

We knew we couldn’t stay long, but I wanted to leave once the quick charging slowed down, which I imagine many drivers on a long drive will wish to do as well. So the provided “370 miles/hour Range Increase Rate” figure may technically have provided some indication of the Prologue’s DC charging speed, but this seems like a stat meant more to obfuscate than clearly indicate it.

Especially since our fully loaded Prologue Elite with the 21-inch wheels has a max EPA range rating of 273 miles. The single-motor front-drive versions max out at 296 miles, while the dual-motor AWD versions which share the base model’s 19-inch wheels max out at 281 miles.

So if no version of the Prologue is officially rated to travel more than 300 miles on a full charge, why tell me I’m charging at “+370 miles/hour” or higher? Likely because Tesla does something similar.

Little grumbles like the 150 kW max DC charging capability and the lack of a precise SOC indicator suggest the Prologue is not aimed at data geeks or EV enthusiasts, but more at loyal Honda buyers moving from a CR-V or similarly-sized Passport, and just want something quieter, more efficient and more modern.

Overall Value And Quick-Charging Thoughts

While it’s somewhat disappointing the Prologue couldn’t quite hit its max 150 kW DC charge speed on this test, we think that owners pulling in with this SOC and at these temperatures would be overall happy with this mix of instant quick charging speed, and a very flat and stable charge curve at roughly 128 kW in these conditions.

Plus, offering both a manual and an automatic battery pre-conditioning function gives it a helpful advantage over say, a Volkswagen ID.4, with a max charging speed greater than the Nissan Ariya’s best-case scenario 130kW figure.

It’s worth noting also that while the Prologue doesn’t currently qualify for the federal $7,500 government rebate, its base price is roughly $8,000 less than the Blazer EV, so there’s already a worthy value equation there. GM recently announced that the Lyriq has recently re-qualified for this rebate, after some supplier adjustments, though it hasn’t yet appeared on the official eligible list at fueleconomy.gov.

No word yet on whether the Prologue or the Blazer may also receive similar updates, but considering that Chevrolet has vowed that all its North American-built EVs are expected to eventually be eligible for the full amount, savvy Honda Prologue buyers may be wise to wait a few months… just in case.

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