2011 Los Angeles Auto Show: 2013 Honda Fit EV Debut

By Blake Z. Rong | November 09, 2011
tWhat’s New The popular Honda Fit now rides the lightning. This plug-in electric model comes with a lithium-ion battery and electric motor derived from the FCX Clarity, a combination Honda says is good for a range of 123 miles. First teased last year and tested in small numbers, Honda has ironed out all the electrical bugs since then, readying the Fit EV for mass consumption. With a full charge in 3 hours, with the type of 240-volt outlets most EV owners spring for, Honda expects the Fit to keep in line with the average commuter’s daily driving duties. Honda will sell the Fit EV for $36,625, with an estimated lease at $399 per month—well within range of other EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. Who It's For The Honda Fit has been a perennial winner in the compact segment, praised for its practicality, interior room, and decently entertaining driving capabilities. The addition of a few batteries may diminish some of these aspects, but the electrified Fit should continue to endear itself to practical-minded folks who are keen to cut out gasoline entirely from their driving. Against the 2012 Nissan Leaf, 2012 Chevrolet Volt, and 2012 Toyota Prius, the Fit is smaller, but it should also feature better range and city maneuverability as well.
Key Features
  • 123-mile range. On the EPA city cycle, the Fit can reach the valuable three-digit mark with a full charge, or more importantly, more than the Nissan Leaf’s 73-mile range. Combined city-highway range will be 76 miles.
  • 3-hour charging time. With a 240-volt outlet, of course—which is what many EV owners currently use for their cars. Expect twice that with a standard 120-volt household outlet.
  • Five-passenger layout. The Fit EV preserves much of the interior and cargo room of its gasoline-powered brethren, despite the addition of batteries.
  • Tried and true components. The electric motor comes from the FCX Clarity hydrogen vehicle, while the three-mode electric drive system in Econ, Normal, and Sport comes courtesy of the CR-Z hybrid. Honda has much experience building hybrids, but this will be their first mass-produced electric vehicle.
What We Think Will the Honda Fit EV be enough to turn the Chevy Volt into the Chevy Vega? With no pricing yet announced, we can’t say for sure. But we know that adding zero emissions to the Fit’s already capable and practical-minded raison d’etre make for an enticing package for certain eco-minded drivers. With a range that should cover most daily driving duties, the Fit EV will serve well as an entry-level electric vehicle instead of the overpriced novelty that the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are sometimes still regarded as. We’ll just have to see if Honda ticked all of its range and driving performance boxes when we get our hands on one for our own driving duties.

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