• Nov 17, 2010

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 at 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.




Live photos copyright ©2010 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

[Source: Honda]
Show full PR text
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
  • 18 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      It looks like it has an underbite. Or a fat lip. Regardless, I'd take the Leaf.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wait, let me get this straight; You are saying you would take the Leaf over this because this looks bad?
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Reading between the lines you're indicating honda can no longer afford to do anything better than anyone else because it's no longer financially prudent?"

      "Sounds remarkably similar to the bean-counter's first perspective which put toyota in the position they're in today."


      I'm not sure if you really understand the scale of what western economies have been through - the worst economic collapse since the 1930's. The problem going forward is growth? Why? Because of the enormity of public and private sector debt. That means inflation can't be used as a model for growth, and there are certainly no budget surpluses. The shift of economic might has moved to the east again after 500 years and the Japanese marques are concentrating vibrantly on Pacific Rim markets. Toyota and Honda faired pretty well on the world stage with global profits down roughly by a quarter - a fraction of that of the likes of VAG, PSA and Ford and we won't even discuss GM. Both Honda and Toyota could easily throw caution to the wind, produce a mind-blowing, low-volume sports car which they're unlikely to retrieve their development costs of and please a few enthusiasts who will be bored with it after 3 years and want expensive updates. But they realise they're businesses first and foremost and understand the need to ride along with what will be an extremely weak period of growth for western economies for a good many years to come. If that means not producing a light which burns twice as bright but which lasts half as long, I'd say that would be a preferable route to ensure not only economic survival, but achieve capital growth over the next very crucial decade.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Umm... wow, i didn't expect this.

      Go Honda. I may just buy one of your cars again instead of relentlessly making fun of you on Autoblog.
      loosewheel26
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bloke you bring up some good points.

      What I'm really surprised about is no mention of the 2.0L plug-in hybrid system.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its the same story, thousands of morons asking for a electric car with 400Hp , AWD,
      0-60 in 3.5 sec., 200 miles range , five passagers, cost $ 13,000.00 and 10 years
      warranties.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another ugly underwhelming Honda.

      Should rename it the Honda S HIT
      • 4 Years Ago
      same as the leaf... yawn. come on honda, at least try here. If you're coming to the game two years later than nissan (100 mile range, 90ish mph) and two years before vw (200 mile range, 125ish mph) at least split the difference. What happened to all the honda ingenuity that brought us everything awesome until they killed the s2000 and nsx and everything... well... that showed honda knew how to engineer better than most. sad times.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's all you ever harp about. Unfortunately, you fail to understand one thing - manufacturers are businesses.

        Honda and Toyota have probably shown the most astute predictability of future market trends in recent years. Both scrapped their comparatively low-volume and low-profit sports models (roadsters and large coupes) as the markets for them began to wane, especially in Europe and Asia where fuel prices and taxation are broadly similar. Both believe largely in global platforms and neither would sell low-volume models solely in the US where fuel is cheap. Unfortunately, Ford was still selling its awful Cougar well into the 2000's after the market for large coupes there had collapsed. GM continued to make product decisions using their hearts instead of their heads. Then look what happened.

        I applaud Honda and Toyota for being exceptionally weary of a still highly fragile global economy and making cautious product decisions, even if they are criticised as being boring by people who see cars as pap-paps and not consumer products. EVs are a good move but their comparatively high retail price puts them out of the reach of most ordinary buyers, and in the States, would only make more sense if gasoline was taxed at and above European levels, and if cars emitting high levels of CO2 (such as any petrol engine over 2 litres) cost a small fortune to register each year as is common in Europe.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "That's all you ever harp about. Unfortunately, you fail to understand one thing - manufacturers are businesses."

        That's all you ever harp me about. Unfortunately, you fail to understand one thing - manufacturers are businesses, and those businesses that are successful can afford to continue to develop comparatively low-volume and low-profit sports models.

        And why are you lecturing me about global platforms? is VAG not one of the largest automakers on earth? does anyone share platforms more extensively or efficiently. If VW can do it, why not honda, toyota? Why on earth are you getting on a platform sharing soap box when the brand i'm most familiar with does it better than any other?

        As for honda specifically, it's not just the s2000. It's EVERYTHING. Their 'exceptionally weary' forward looking perception resulted in a total flop in the form of the insight, and nothing they're bringing to fruition is truly revolutionary or shows a keen sense of engineering prowess ahead of other automakers. It's a total reversal of previous decades.

        Nissan provides us with the GT-R which can handle any car on earth.
        VW i've already talked about.

        Honda. What the hell are they doing? You're argument that they're cautious and building beige because of it does not hold light when their recent models are taken into account.

        I don't care if honda lacks the resources or passion to build fun cars anymore, If you lack the balls, fine. But at least return to engineering SOMETHING better than others. An Insight worse than the prius? A fit two years later than the nissan that's no better? A civic constantly delayed.

        No, no need to lecture me about running a business or platform sharing. other, more successful automakers are showing that those who DO run a business EFFECTIVELY and DO platform share EFFECTIVELY can have their cake and eat it too. Quit pretending americans don't watch topgear, fifthgear, and read evo, car, topgear and converse with UK journalists regularly.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You can't simply only please enthusiasts and you can't simply only adhere to accountants, there should be some middle ground."

        Wrong. Car manufacturers are businesses, first and foremost. And the most important customers to them are their shareholders. You may not like it, it may be austere, but it's the way it is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "I'm guessing that's why no such premium exists right? The prius starts"

        In the US, the Prius starts stripped out at $23K and if you want to fully specify the top trim, you're banging on the door of $33K. In the Insight, you begin at less than $20K and top out just north of $23K. There are no factory options - the rest are dealer-fit accessories. For example, I opted for a $300 dealer-fit electrochromic mirror.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Fwiw, Honda's success in the USA can be summed up with two words - Civic, Accord. Pretty much every other product it has released over the past decade has failed to meet its original, and in some cases, revised sales goals, from the S2000 all the way down.

        It doesn't matter if you are a Honda fan that feels betrayed because Honda abandoned sports cars, a Honda fan that loves the fact that Honda is going green in a big way, or a Honda apologist that ignores any missteps from the company. The conditions that allowed Honda to grow over the past 20 years no longer exist and its losing out to the competition while its in this weird transitional phase.

        Fortunately Honda also has the highest customer loyalty of any car brand in the US so that helps to mitigate its losses, but the next two years will be telling as Honda releases its next wave of upgraded products and engines. Imo Honda isn't what it used to be, and the competition is a lot better than it was as well.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "And why are you lecturing me about global platforms? is VAG not one of the largest automakers on earth? does anyone share platforms more extensively or efficiently. If VW can do it, why not honda, toyota? Why on earth are you getting on a platform sharing soap box when the brand i'm most familiar with does it better than any other?"

        The home country of any manufacturer is one of the most important to it. In the case of Japanese manufacturers, most of their domestic models aren't even sold outside of Japan, due to that country's punitive taxation policies on even medium-sized cars. Those models are their bread-and-butter. My point wasn't about sharing platforms - it was about taking a conservative view in determining market trends.

        "As for honda specifically, it's not just the s2000. It's EVERYTHING. Their 'exceptionally weary' forward looking perception resulted in a total flop in the form of the insight, and nothing they're bringing to fruition is truly revolutionary or shows a keen sense of engineering prowess ahead of other automakers. It's a total reversal of previous decades."

        The Insight was unsuccessful because it was marketed in America as a Prius competitor. It isn't. It's a good deal smaller. But Americans simply don't grasp these market distinctions. Furthermore, as an Insight owner who regularly averages 50mpg (US), many people are missing out on a car which is surprisingly good to live with, despite its faults. Hybrids were never popular in Europe where diesel is king - and Honda have never invested heavily in diesel, unlike Toyota who produce some superb diesel units. Showing off engineering prowess is great if you like showing off your knob, but it takes far more prowess in more crucial areas of a business to show off if you're being bailed out by taxpayers - especially in the wake of truly dreadful product decisions.


        "Nissan provides us with the GT-R which can handle any car on earth.
        VW i've already talked about."

        Yes it does. But is it a healthy business risk? VWs profits were down 80% last year and its made some glaring cutbacks - replacing the expensive Lupo with the cheap Brazilian-sourced Fox, and selling a cheapened, dumbed-down version of the Jetta in the States simply to compete on price - and that's not a business model all manufacturers wish to take. VW have only survived this because they were extremely fat on the balance sheet to begin with. Honda never made money on the NSX - a very affordable supercar - and felt it wasn't worth replacing. Sad, but a solid business decision.

        "Honda. What the hell are they doing? You're argument that they're cautious and building beige because of it does not hold light when their recent models are taken into account."

        Really? The Jazz/Fit has always been a strong seller since its launch in 2001, particularly in Europe and Japan. The Fit-based Freed is also a strong seller. The Insight is one of the best-selling cars in Japan. The Accord in Europe with the diesel engine is one of the most sensible D-segment choices anyone can make.

        "I don't care if honda lacks the resources or passion to build fun cars anymore, If you lack the balls, fine. But at least return to engineering SOMETHING better than others. An Insight worse than the prius? A fit two years later than the nissan that's no better? A civic constantly delayed."

        Those are the words of a teenager. Unfortunately, a businessman would disagree - especially in this economy. And especially if you don't want to be bailed out by ever-frustrated taxpayers.

        "No, no need to lecture me about running a business or platform sharing. other, more successful automakers are showing that those who DO run a business EFFECTIVELY and DO platform share EFFECTIVELY can have their cake and eat it too. Quit pretending americans don't watch topgear, fifthgear, and read evo, car, topgear and converse with UK journalists regularly."

        I'm not pretending anything. I don't personally watch Fifth Gear, which is essentially a consumer show, and Top Gear is great entertainment but entertainment is all it's become. And car enthusiast magazines won't talk common s ense about cars, they're written solely to ignite passion. But I think you should ponder one thing - the recent collapse was predicted by some astute financial experts a decade ago, given market trends and the phenomenal increase in private sector debt. You should ponder which manufacturers have made it through relatively unscathed (such as Honda), which have taken a severe beating (such as VAG and Ford) and which have been lucky to have been saved from extinction.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Reading between the lines you're indicating honda can no longer afford to do anything better than anyone else because it's no longer financially prudent?"

        "Sounds remarkably similar to the bean-counter's first perspective which put toyota in the position they're in today."


        I'm not sure if you really understand the scale of what western economies have been through - the worst economic collapse since the 1930's. The problem going forward is growth? Why? Because of the enormity of public and private sector debt. That means inflation can't be used as a model for growth, and there are certainly no budget surpluses. The shift of economic might has moved to the east again after 500 years and the Japanese marques are concentrating vibrantly on Pacific Rim markets. Toyota and Honda faired pretty well on the world stage with global profits down roughly by a quarter - a fraction of that of the likes of VAG, PSA and Ford and we won't even discuss GM. Both Honda and Toyota could easily throw caution to the wind, produce a mind-blowing, low-volume sports car which they're unlikely to retrieve their development costs of and please a few enthusiasts who will be bored with it after 3 years and want expensive updates. But they realise they're businesses first and foremost and understand the need to ride along with what will be an extremely weak period of growth for western economies for a good many years to come. If that means not producing a light which burns twice as bright but which lasts half as long, I'd say that would be a preferable route to ensure not only economic survival, but achieve capital growth over the next very crucial decade.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That was an interesting read guys - Thanks to you both.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm not sure you really understand I was driving Honda EVs with superior range a decade ago. You're trying so incredibly hard to avoid the point. Keep dodging the bullet.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "I'm not sure you really understand I was driving Honda EVs with superior range a decade ago. You're trying so incredibly hard to avoid the point. Keep dodging the bullet."


        Good lord. Yes, let's all live in Fantasyland where we can drive the epitome of performance, innovation, and prestige and not give a fig whether we can cover the development costs.

        A decade ago, the world was a very different place economically. People would never have believed that the American car industry would literally stare at extinction in the face. That the economy would shed four million jobs in little more than a year - even with Governmental emergency measures. That the American banking system could practically almost collapse overnight. Or that the stock market would ever crash by almost 50%, and in actual overall wealth terms, the greatest amount ever.

        Yes, we'd all love to see all manufacturers with bottomless pockets. But they don't.
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