When Honda puts the Fit EV on sale in 2012, it will come with a device that, as far as we can recall, will be unique in the plug-in vehicle space: a little something Honda calls a "pocket-friendly, interactive remote" (basically, a key fob) that will interact with the vehicle and display, "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." Think of it as a physical version of the smartphone app that other vehicles will use for this sort of functionality (the Fit EV will also have an app). We think a fob like this is a bizarre little add-on, but maybe Honda has got some sort of inside information that the non-smartphone owning masses really want to carry an extra piece of plastic around with them.
More important, though, is the work that Honda will do in the intervening years to get the Fit EV, with a li-ion battery from an unnamed supplier, ready for business. Honda will work with three different groups on an electric vehicle test fleet program: Stanford, which will test user behavior and usability; the City of Torrance, which will test what a local government can do to promote plug-in vehicles and educate citizens about the benefits of such cars and Google, which will add the Fit EVs to the RechargeIT car sharing fleet and track energy consumption. For now, Honda is keeping the number of vehicles that will go to each partner a secret but the first vehicles should be delivered early next year.
Lastly, we tried to get some more information about the Fit's three drive modes. This far out from launch, it's hard to know exactly what the numbers will be when the car hits dealers, but Honda did say during the car's reveal that engaging eco mode would boost the range by up to 17 percent. Honda wouldn't say how much range sport mode would take away, just that the eco mode gets 25 percent more range than sport mode. You can watch Honda CEO Takanobu Ito unveil the Fit EV at the LA Auto Show here.