As expected, Honda today debuted the 2013 model year Honda Fit EV. The all-electric car, which will have nearly exactly the dimensions of the gasoline Fit, was originally shown as a “concept car” at the 2010 LA Auto Show, and it is now intended to go into production for the 2013 model year.
The initial production and distribution will be extremely limited. Honda says it will only be available in select California and Oregon markets, and have total production of only 1100 vehicles over the next three years.
The car will have a relatively small 20 kilowatt-hour battery pack, and they expect the combined highway/city range will be 76 miles. Honda leads their range claims saying “123 city miles/charge” using official EPA testing procedures where “city miles” measure lower speed stop-and-go driving which uses less energy hence providing you with more range than when driven at highway speed. The on-board 6.6 kilowatt charger gives you a 3 hour recharge time.
Honda describes the five-passenger car as being designed to meet the needs of the average “urban commuter”. Several studies over the years show that typical commute driving patterns are less than 40 miles/day, making a 76 miles highway (or 123 miles city) range to be adequate for even some of the extreme commuters among us. The Fit EV has three driving modes, Econ, Normal and Sport, borrowed (in concept) from the CR-Z. The Econ mode is supposed to increase driving range by up to 17 percent.
The MRSP is expected to be $36,625 or a touch less than the Nissan LEAF. Lease price is expected to be $399 per month.
“The Fit EV is the next critical step in Honda’s portfolio approach to alternative fueled vehicles,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “There is no other automaker on the planet whose spirit is more deeply invested in the effort to realize a cleaner, more energy-efficient and ultimately more sustainable transportation future than Honda.”
To help drivers know what they’re doing, driving electric, the car will have a telematics and driver information system. Drivers will be able to stay in contact with their car using their smart phone, or a remote control, letting them remotely monitor state of charge and do things like turn on the air conditioning or heater. It also comes standard with a Honda-provided satellite navigation system that, in part, gives information on nearby charging stations.
Honda will be placing some of the initially produced cars with demonstration programs run by the city of Torrance CA, as well as Stanford University and Google. These demonstration programs are meant to give Honda real-world data.
This will be Honda’s first electric car since the Honda EV Plus they produced in the late 1990’s. After ending their EV Plus program (and crushing most of the EV Plus’s) Honda had focused on non-plugin hybrid cars for public sale, and fuel cell cars for demonstration programs.
It’s exciting to see Honda returning to building plug-in all-electric cars.
Honda Fit EV Makes World Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show Battery electric commuter vehicle launching summer 2012
Honda Fit EV
2010 news coverage of the Honda Fit EV electric car
Honda Fit EV – the Early Videos