• Nov 17th 2010 at 6:57PM
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Honda Fit EV concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

We were a bit miffed at the Paris Motor Show this year when Honda debuted its Fit Jazz Hybrid and told us there were no plans to bring it to the United States. Bigger plans were in the works, however, and we've now caught our first glimpse of the Fit EV concept on display at this year's LA Auto Show.

Visually, the Fit EV doesn't stray too far from the design language we've come to know from the gasoline-powered hatchback, albeit with a few concept-y touches thrown in for good measure. Interior refinement is standard-grade Fit spec, as well, with a modified gauge cluster showing battery and efficiency information.

Honda has outfitted the Fit EV with a version of the electric motor used in the automaker's FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, and we're told that range will be around 100 miles with a top speed of 90 miles per hour. Sounds like a Nissan Leaf competitor to us. Though purely a concept right now, Honda plans to sell a production version of the Fit EV sometime in 2012, and fleet testing of the electric hatch will commence in the coming months.

See the Fit EV for yourself in our galleries of live and stock shots below, and follow the jump for the full details in Honda's press release.

Honda Fit EV Concept
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  • Honda Fit EV Concept interior
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  • Honda Fit EV Concept gauges

Live photos copyright ©2010 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

[Source: Honda]

World Debut of Honda Fit EV Concept Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrid Platform at Los Angeles Auto Show

Advanced environmental vehicles key to Honda Electric Mobility Network

LOS ANGELES – Nov. 17, 2010 – Honda today unveiled the all-new Fit EV Concept electric vehicle and the platform for a midsize plug-in hybrid vehicle. Both vehicles are integral to the Honda Electric Mobility Network, the company's comprehensive approach to reducing CO2 emissions through innovative products, energy-management and energy-production technologies.
The Fit EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda's upcoming production Fit EV all-electric vehicle, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012. The all-new plug-in hybrid platform showcases Honda's next-generation, two-motor hybrid technology set to debut in 2012.

"Honda's long history with electromotive technologies has enabled us to understand customer requirements," said Takanobu Ito, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President and CEO. "In Honda's view, an electric vehicle must offer great utility and be fun to drive. Fit EV's urban commuting capability will be a perfect addition to the full-function mobility of the plug-in hybrid and FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle."

Honda Fit EV

The Fit EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter and utilizes the same 5-passenger layout found in the popular Fit hatchback. When the Fit EV production model is introduced, it will be powered by a lithium-ion battery and coaxial electric motor.

The high-density motor, derived from the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, delivers excellent efficiency and power while remaining quiet at high speeds. The Fit EV will have a top speed of 90 mph.

The Fit EV will achieve an estimated 100-mile driving range per charge using the US EPA LA41 city cycle (70 miles when applying EPA's adjustment factor). Driving range can be maximized by use of an innovative 3-mode electric drive system, adapted from the 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid. The system allows the driver to select between Econ, Normal, and Sport to instantly and seamlessly change the driving experience to maximize efficiency or improve acceleration. While in Econ mode, practical driving range can increase by as much as 17 percent, compared to driving in Normal mode, and up to 25 percent compared to driving in Sport mode. Acceleration improves significantly when in Sport mode, generating performance similar to a vehicle equipped with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

In addition to the 3-mode E-Drive system, the Fit EV will include several interactive coaching systems to assist the driver in maximizing battery range.

A special meter display advises the driver when to shut off air conditioning and other accessories to conserve battery power.

To help the driver manage the electric vehicle ownership experience, the Fit EV will have a standard connectivity system that allows the driver to stay connected through a smartphone and personal computer, or the Honda-exclusive interactive remote, while away from the vehicle. The pocket-friendly, interactive remote provides connectivity to the vehicle without the need for an internet connection or mobile phone signal. Through the connectivity system, drivers will be able to remotely view the vehicle's state of charge, initiate charging and activate the air conditioning, even while connected to the grid, to reduce the drain on the battery at start-up. The mobile application and website also offers the ability to set charging notifications and alerts to optimize utility rates, and provides 24-hour roadside assistance, along with a public charging station locator. The Fit EV will come equipped with a standard Honda Satellite Linked Navigation System™ that includes a public charging-station locator capability.

The Fit EV is designed to be easy and convenient to charge. Battery recharging can be accomplished in less than 12 hours when using a conventional 120-volt outlet, and less than six hours when using a 240-volt outlet.

The Fit EV Concept displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show features an exclusive Deep Clear Blue Pearl exterior color and distinctive five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with blue inserts. The Concept has unique LED headlights, a chrome front fascia, aerodynamic bumper, clear LED taillights and EV decals. Inside, the Fit EV Concept is outfitted in an eco-friendly gray bio-fabric on the seating surfaces.

Displayed alongside the Fit EV Concept at the show is a prototype Honda charging stand. To begin charging, the driver swipes a card in front of the screen and then connects the charger to the vehicle. The Honda charging stand provides a glimpse at the future of an electric-charging infrastructure that is easy to use and intuitive for consumers.

Honda Plug-in Hybrid

Honda also unveiled a plug-in hybrid platform, which showcases Honda's next-generation two-motor hybrid system. Integrated into a mid-size sedan platform, the plug-in hybrid is designed to be compatible with daily driving habits, allowing for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode, while providing long-distance driving capability when needed. The Honda two-motor system continuously moves through three different modes to maximize driving efficiency: all-electric, gasoline-electric and a unique, engine direct-drive mode. The plug-in hybrid also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery.

In all-electric mode, the vehicle uses a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and a powerful 120 kW electric motor. The all-electric mode achieves a range of approximately 10-15 miles in city driving and a top speed of 62 mph. Fully recharging the battery will take 2 to 2.5 hours using a 120-volt outlet and 1 to 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet.

The vehicle can also run in a gasoline-electric hybrid mode, the platform features a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, i-VTEC® inline 4-cylinder, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT). An onboard generator adds to the battery powering the electric motor.

For more efficient high-speed cruising, the vehicle can engage in a direct-drive mode, in which only the engine drives the front wheels.

Advanced Technology Demonstration Program

Honda will launch an Advanced Technology Demonstration Program this year to provide real-world testing of its new vehicles, as well as research into customer behavior and usability, public charging infrastructure planning and sustainability initiatives. Partners in the program will include Stanford University, City of Torrance, Calif. and Google, Inc.

Honda Electric Mobility Network and Energy Management

Together with the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, the Fit EV and the future plug-in hybrid vehicle are a part of the company's comprehensive approach to reducing CO2 emissions. Honda is unique in its efforts to create both environmentally-responsible products and the renewable energy solutions to power them. Honda is currently producing and marketing thin-film solar panels in Japan, and an installation is planned at Honda Performance Development in Southern California in early 2011.

Honda is also using innovative ways to produce and distribute energy through sustainable methods, such as using solar power to produce hydrogen fuel from water. Additionally, Honda is developing home energy-management systems that utilize micro-cogeneration technology and solar cell modules to power and heat homes as well as charge electric vehicles. The Honda Electric Mobility Network joins clean vehicle technology, renewable energy production and energy management solutions for the benefit of customers and society.

Honda Environmental Leadership

The Fit EV and a plug-in hybrid sedan will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012, joining Honda's diverse lineup of environmentally-responsible vehicles, which include the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, the Civic GX compressed natural gas-powered sedan (U.S. only) and four distinct gasoline-electric hybrid models: Civic Hybrid; CR-Z sport hybrid; Insight hybrid and Fit Hybrid (Japan and Europe only).

Honda was recently named America's "Greenest Automaker" for the fifth consecutive time by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The award is earned by the company with the lowest combined smog-forming and greenhouse-gas emissions (primarily CO2) in its U.S. automobile fleet.

Honda has led the UCS rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since the first UCS study in 2000, marking a decade of Honda leadership in reduced vehicle emissions. Honda earned the recognition this year with an industry-best score based on model year 2008 data, the latest available for analysis.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production of motorcycles in 1979 and automobiles in 1982. With nine U.S. plants, Honda has invested more than $12.7 billion in its U.S. operations. The company employs nearly 25,000 associates and annually purchases $12 billion in parts and materials from more than 530 U.S. suppliers. Honda vehicles are manufactured using domestic and globally sourced parts

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Finally, something of note from Honda.

      The Fit EV looks like a fine LEAF competitor and it looks a lot nicer styling.

      The big hybrid essentially sounds like Toyota drivetrain (2 ev motor, Atkinson cycle engine) and the additon of plug-in. From engine size, appears to be an Accord size vehicle.

      Welcome back to the game Honda.

        • 4 Years Ago
        It doesn't appear that the Fit will have as large a battery as the Leaf.

        "(70 miles when applying EPA's adjustment factor)". It charges in 12 hrs on 120V. The Leaf takes 20 hrs. I'm guessing around 15 to 17 kWh battery size.

        Large enough for me. Hopefully the Fit will be several grand less than the Leaf.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow. This looks a lot better than the Leaf. I hope they won't change a thing and will stay on track for 2012.
        • 4 Years Ago
        With a 70 mile 'adjusted' range. this seems to be pretty much Honda's version of the iMiEV, with a rather more practical body.
        By the end of the battery's automotive life, this would come down to perhaps 56 miles at 80% capacity.
        Strictly a city car, although of course as better batteries become available they might be able to up the range on later versions without compromising the packaging.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Leaf started life as a Versa (Nissan's "EV-12" prototype). If Honda is equally serious, they should also spin off a new variant of the platform capable of fitting a comparable battery.

        However, I wonder why doesn't Honda make a CR-Z EV? There should be plenty of space to fit ~24kWh of batteries in the CR-Z if they expand the battery area to include the dead space behind the front seats.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes. I would certainly take this over a LEAF if I was in the EV market at the time and Honda actually delivers. But I really have to wonder how they think they are going to package ~24KWh of batteries inside a Fit. The Fit is a lot smaller than a LEAF and not designed from the ground up to be an EV.

      • 4 Years Ago
      This video from Honda has one bit of information not in the press release. The reason Honda didn't release an EV till now, is that customers weren't ready. Yeah, right. I've been ready since I read about the EV1 in Popular Science, back in Apr and Nov of 1996. The only difference, is now other car companies are selling them. Welcome to the party Honda.

        • 4 Years Ago
        That seems to be the default position of any automaker that's not producing an EV right now or up to now

        Thats the way blame it on demand - but remember folks demands needs a supply so the demand can be meet - otherwise demand moves on unless you take a position like Plug-in-America with their challange of not being a new car unless it has a plug on it.

        I would have helped if they kept them going from the 90's be it a 1,000 or so a year so to keep R&D and awareness out there such as they are in people garages so neighbours, friends, family say:

        Q: "Hey what do you have there"

        A: "Well, this is my new all electric car, I can charge it a home and I can do all my running about in it for a few dollars a week and it requires little maintenance is more efficient and has less parts"
      • 4 Years Ago
      Two thumbs up, did not expect this.

      However, i never liked the FIT. Too dorky for me. Ev-N please!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think this Fit EV looks pretty sharp. That EV-N looks very dorky.

        So I guess Dorky, is in the eye of the beholder.

        Though I would like a more solid 100 mile range, this sounds like 70 miles.

        I have a hiking trail I go to often on the weekends. It is about 30 miles away, which sounds dicey with a 70 mile range.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like this:

      "The pocket-friendly, interactive remote provides connectivity to the vehicle without the need for an internet connection or mobile phone signal."

      • 4 Years Ago
      Wonder who will step up to break the 100 mile barrier? Every EV that comes out has 100 mile range. Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, they all are wanting to come out with 100 miles or less. It it only because of price or is this a good way to drag feet and stifle competition? I guess we will have to wait for Tesla to break this barrier as well. Lowest price Model S is suppose to have 160 mile range.

      When the government loans are being applied for all you hear is, "we want these loans to build EV's and batteries." Then when the plants are being built, "we will be building EV's right next to our gas cars being produced and by the way, EV stands for hybrid or electrified vehicle with a gas motor." A kind of, bate and switch.

      Well, we are getting some EV's produced and that is more than they were doing in the summer of 2008. They are doing it for the hand outs, when the hand outs are gone I wonder what will be left. More club cab PU's and SUV's I suppose, that is what is fueling new vehicle sales currently in America.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Coda has promised a range greater than 100 miles. Of course, they are clear that you will be paying extra for it:

        "So, why price the relatively unknown EV so high, compared to the better-known vehicles? As Czinger told AutoblogGreen ages ago (or, at least, that's what it feels like, but it was really last October), the secret to the Coda Sedan's success is its battery. This week, he reiterated this stance when he said his car has something those others don't: a big (33.8 kWh) lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery."

        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, the Tesla Roadster gets about 244 miles per charge, and the Model S is planned to get from 160 to 300 mile range, depending on battery option. Longer range is already technically possible, it's probably a matter of cost that keeps it nearer the 100 mile mark.

        But competition has a way of increasing performance and reducing costs, so we might see a sort of "range war" breaking out between different EV makers as to who can go the furthest.
        • 4 Years Ago
        First gen market dynamics. 2nd gen will probably feature an average of 150miles, 3rd gen 200 miles, etc. Like ipod memory the cost will come down as volume ramps up and additional range will be the hook to get people to upgrade.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Cost/benefit of going beyond 100 miles is definitely one of diminishing returns.

      Even if you double it to 200 miles, it doesn't make an EV into a road trip car.

      Judging by what is written here, this will be EPA 70 Mile range. Which is still fine for commuting.

      100 mile EPA range would cover my commuting and weekend recreational activities. Beyond this no EV will cover my vacation road trips which can be 600+ miles/day. So I wouldn't want to pay for more than 100 mile battery range.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Guess the Honda haters won't be able to complain about the mpg on this one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nope. It's hard to screw up a pure EV.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Kinda funny (but not ha ha funny) how a couple of years ago it looked like some crazy start-up like Aptera was going to be the only hope for electric cars.

      Now, all the big boys have at least one (if not two or three) EV's in the works.

      Seems like it's taking forever but I suppose in the grand scheme of things .....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why hold back on the battery pack -- the Fit's gas tank bay is a natural location for part of the battery, and surely there is room for more under the hood?

      The Fit / Jazz is one of the best designs on the road today, and it will make an excellent EV, too. Please cover the larger openings in the rims, as well! Or, just cover the larger openings, and smooth the floor pan, etc.

      Honda, please sell this car here in the USA!

      Sincerely, Neil
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's a logical step...why not make money doing EV's and use that money to do research elsewhere?

      Some of you think the buck stops here with EVs and no future progress is going to ever get made? Get real.

      Just because YOU may not benefit from it doesn't mean others won't.

      Regarding the Fit...I'd still rather get a CRZ..it's a much better quality car and is far more unique than the Fit. Make it an EV or fuel cell car and all the better.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I must be misunderstanding your comment because it seams like your saying that there can't be any future progress with EVs
        • 4 Years Ago
        No that's not what I said...I said that it's stupid to think that EVs are the one and only way forward...they address many issues but not all.

        For crying out loud, progress may take decades in certain areas but that doesn't mean it's not worth doing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So even the die-hard fuel cell hold-out will SELL (not subsidized limited lease) an EV before it sells a fuel cell car. LOL!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Here's Huell Howser's video of the EV Plus being shredded:
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Are you aware that Honda sold EVs in the 1990s"

        Honda didn't, otherwise some would still be on the road. "The EV Plus was listed with an MSRP of $53,900, but Honda never allowed them to be sold, instead offering the cars on a 3-year, lease-only program for $455.00 mo." Like the GM EV-1, they were all scrapped. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_EV_Plus
        • 4 Years Ago
        Are you aware that Honda sold EVs in the 1990s. In fact, on stage with this new Fit EV was the Honda EV Plus from the 1990s to pay tribute to that old electric from Honda.
        • 4 Years Ago
        We can tell they're serious about EVs this time, as it is based on an existing model and is much better looking and more practical than the dorky looking EV concept they showed off last year. It is notable that they are matching the Leaf feature for feature in everything except range.

        Also notable is how they are getting serious about plug-in hybrids as well, with a new hybrid design better suited for plug-in use.

        The FCX Clarity gets mentioned, but it doesn't seem to be any closer to actual mass production or sale.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now that's what I'm talking about. This is the EV I've been waiting for. I'm starting to save my nickels today for a Fit EV!
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