The idea of a all-electric Honda Fit is nothing new, but the details of the production version that will come to the U.S. next summer are, well, also nothing new. As announced today, the all-electric Fit will only be available through a lease program, probably for $399 per month. What's interesting is that the car does have an MSRP of $36,625, and multiple Honda reps milling around the stand after the world debut unveiling said that the lease-only deal is what's being announced today but that Honda listens to its customers. So, anyone who likes the idea of driving a Fit EV for a long time without having to give it back should let Honda know. Hand raising start today at the new Fit EV website. Honda spokesperson Jessica Fini told AutoblogGreen that the go-slow method is just how Honda likes to do things:

Because of our experience in the '90s, we're taking a slow and steady approach and that's kind of been the Honda way, whether you're happy with it or not. Every foray into advanced technology, whether we've been the leader or second or third, we've taken that slow and steady approach. ... It's not to say that we can't, in the future, modify the program.

Technologically, the Fit EV has good numbers. For starters, how about a city range of 123 miles (this is a "preliminary estimates determined by Honda using EPA methods"). Combined, the Fit should be rated at 76 miles. Aside from some modifications to the dash and a special bio-fabric, the Fit EV is almost identical to a standard Fit on the interior. When folded down, the rear seats don't get quite as flat as they do on the gas-powered Fit because of the 20-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. As reported before, the Fit EV's motor is a 92 kW unit that was derived from the motor in the hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCX Clarity. Technology from the CR-Z Sport Hybrid also makes the jump to the Fit EV in the case of the three-mode electric drive system. With an onboard 6.6-kW 32 amp charger, the battery can fill up in three hours on a Level 2 EVSE.

What does "summer" of 2012 mean? We kept hearing that the Fit EV program is 10 months away from launch, so that would place the first deliveries in August. "Select California and Oregon markets" will be the first to get the car, followed by six areas of the East Coast in 2013. Over the three-year program, Honda plans on making 1,100 Fit EVs available here (the company is also testing the car in Japan and China). The Fit EV will only be available in one color: Reflection Blue Pearl.

*UPDATE: Fini wanted to clarify and expand on her quote, and so sent AutoblogGreen the following:

Honda has always taken a slow and steady approach when it comes to introducing new technologies. Sometimes that means taking a different path then what the rest of the industry is doing. Honda is taking a portfolio approach when it comes to alternative fueled vehicles – introducing a variety of technologies (EV, P-HEV, FCEV, Hybrid, Natural Gas and fuel-efficient ICE) and letting the customer decide which best meets their needs.

Whether we are first or second to market with a new technology, Honda strives to exceed the customer ownership experience. With the Fit EV, we want to make sure Honda's return to the battery electric market is matched to customer's expectations of a Honda vehicle (exceptional reliability and quality). We felt leasing the Fit EV at this stage was the best way to both meet the high standards customers have come to expect from Honda and manage the customer ownership experience.

With that said, Honda is a flexible company that listens to its customers. We will be carefully monitoring customer feedback and continuously evaluating the Fit EV program when it launches next summer
.

Show full PR text
Honda Fit EV Makes World Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show

Battery electric commuter vehicle launching summer 2012

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16, 2011 – Honda today unveiled the all-new 2013 Fit EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show, announcing plans to begin leasing the 123 city-mile per charge (76 mile range combined adjusted city/highway)1 battery electric commuter vehicle to its U.S. customers in the summer of 2012. The Fit EV is based on the popular Fit hatchback and is a part of the company's diverse portfolio of alternative fuel vehicles that includes gasoline-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell-electric and natural gas-powered models.

American Honda will begin leasing the Fit EV to customers in select California and Oregon markets next summer, and will expand to six East Coast markets in early 2013. The Fit EV's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price2 (MSRP) is $36,625 with an estimated lease priced at $399 a month. Honda will monitor market acceptance, but expects volume at this early stage of production to be approximately 1,100 Fit EV's over the next three years.

"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."

Customers interested in leasing a Fit EV are encouraged to sign up at www.FitEV.Honda.com where they can receive more information and sign up for the opportunity to become a future Fit EV customer.

Fit EV Performance
The Fit EV is designed to meet the needs of an average urban commuter, offering an estimated driving range of 123-miles on a single charge using the US EPA city cycle test methods (Honda anticipates a combined city/highway EV range of 76 miles on the new Fuel Economy labels) 1. The Fit EV will be powered by a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 92 kilowatt coaxial electric motor. The high density electric motor, derived from the motor used in the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, delivers excellent efficiency and power while remaining quiet at high speeds.

Driving range of the Fit EV can be maximized by using several innovative features, including a 3- mode electric drive system, adapted from the 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. Acceleration improves significantly when in Sport mode, adding to the Fit EV's fun to drive nature.

In addition to the 3-mode driving system, the Fit EV includes interactive coaching features designed to assist the driver in maximizing battery performance and driving range. The power meter alerts the driver to optimal driving conditions. Additional energy- saving features includes a highly efficient electric air conditioning system and new regenerative braking system.

The 6.6 kW, onboard 32 amp charger allows for convenient recharging of the Fit EV. With a 240-volt charger, the Fit EV can fully recharge in as little as three hours. At launch timing, Honda will have a preferred Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) charging supplier.

Fit EV Exterior and Interior Styling
The exterior dimensions of the Fit EV are identical to the gasoline-powered Fit with the addition of a higher hip point to accommodate the under floor placement of the 20 kWh battery. When the car launches in summer 2012, it will be available in one exclusive color, Reflection Blue Pearl. EV badges on the rear hatch and decals on the side of the vehicle distinguish the electric vehicle from its gasoline counterpart.

The Fit EV carries a familiar chrome front fascia that is similar to other Honda environmentally-responsible vehicles like the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle and Insight hybrid. The Fit EV is outfitted with distinct five-spoke alloy wheels and an aerodynamic rear spoiler.

In the passenger cabin, the seating surfaces are covered with bio-fabric. The Fit EV features illuminated meters that alert the driver to key vehicle functions including state of charge, battery usage and driving range. The meters change color depending on the driving mode selected (green, white or red).

The Fit EV features a spacious and functional cabin with comfortable seating for up to five passengers. For enhanced versatility, the Fit EV offers multiple seating and cargo-carrying configurations.

Fit EV Telematics and Interactive Remote
To help the driver manage the electric vehicle ownership experience, the Fit EV will have a standard telematics system that allows the driver to stay connected through a smartphone, personal computer or interactive remote. Through the Fit EV smartphone and computer applications, the driver can remotely view the vehicles state of charge, initiate charging and activate the air conditioning and heater, to pre-condition the vehicle while connected to the grid which maximizes battery range on start-up. The mobile application and website also offers the ability to set charging notifications and alerts to optimize charging times based on varying utility rates and provides access to 24-hour roadside assistance. The Fit EV will come equipped with a standard Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ that provides the ability to locate public charging stations and frequently updated traffic information.

The interactive remote allows the driver to monitor the vehicles state of charge and cabin temperature. Additionally, the driver can initiate and terminate charging and remotely turn on the air conditioning using the interactive remote. The interactive remote does not require an internet or mobile connection to operate however the driver must be within 100 feet (30 meters) of the vehicle.

Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program
Honda will test the Fit EV with the City of Torrance, California Google Inc. and Stanford University as a part of the Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program. Each program participant will provide Honda with real-world feedback on the Fit EV. Individually, each participant will use the Fit EV to further initiatives such as research into human behavior and various usage like personal, fleet and car-sharing.

Honda Environmental Leadership
In addition to the Fit EV, Honda is a leader in the development of leading-edge technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

Honda has led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has topped the list of America's greenest vehicles, from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), for eleven consecutive years.

In 2006, Honda became the first automaker to announce voluntary CO2 emissions reduction targets for its global fleet of automobile, powersports and power equipment products and its global network of manufacturing plants. Today, the company is striving for even greater reductions in CO2 emissions that contribute to global climate change, while also working to minimize waste, water use and the total environmental footprint of its operations worldwide.

For more information and high resolution images of the Fit EV, please visit www.hondanews.com.

Connect to Honda:
Honda News & Views: http://www.honda.com/news
Honda Multimedia Newsroom (for media only): http://www.hondanews.com
Fit EV for consumers: http://www.FitEV.honda.com
Honda on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/honda
Honda on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Honda
Honda on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/honda
Honda on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/hondanews
Honda Web Site: http://www.honda.com

1 123 city/95 highway mile range (unadjusted); 76 combined mile range (adjusted). Preliminary estimates determined by Honda using EPA methods. Your range will vary. For additional information about EPA test methods, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-electric-label.shtml

2 MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

View this release on hondanews.com




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it's a great idea, as battery tech has just made a break thru: nano holes in a Li battery increase capacity and charge speed 10x. In three years, there may be 2x to 10x better batteries in these EV's. The Revolution is NOW. Plus the Fit EV is an Excellent car. By the way Honda, I know of Many potential customers waiting for you to Hybridize the CRV.
        gpmp
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Time to replace my '07 Fit. The ev-Fit would be nice, but a 100 mile ev-CRV (or phev) would tick just about every box. And the lease vs. buy argument just isn't the same as it was 10 years ago. Technology is developing so fast, I'd rather remain flexible to buy/lease a better vehicle in 3 or 4 years.
        Ryan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        That is the problem with the scientific community today (I'm a small part of it in a different field). They announce these 'new' incredible technologies, yet from a business point of view it means that anything built and sold today will be obsolete in a few years. Why would I want to buy a $40k car that will come with a much better battery in 4-6 years? They need to learn from Apple and figure out a way to keep your competitors aware of your discoveries, yet the general public will only find out when you have cars for sale...
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Here's the Link: Actually this goes back to 2006: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013468607004264 http://news.stanford.edu/news/2008/january9/nanowire-010908.html
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Ryan -- Why? Because you want to be an early adopter. And because Federal and State rebates can drive the price of a 40,000 dollar EV down into the high 20's (depending upon your state). Ford- The CRV-EV would be an awesome idea.
      Wrangler Unlimited
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not too bad. I rarely keep a vehicle longer than two to three years.
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Wrangler Unlimited
        All of the people who prefer to buy gentily used cars thank you for your buying habits... ;)
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      On GCG we were having some fun calculating the likely number of miles that you could get out of the SCiB batteries. Strictly speaking using Toshiba's 4,000 cycles down to 80% and so taking 90% as average so you get around 90 miles for a full charge you might get 360,000 miles out of this, but I reckon Toshiba is being conservative and you would probably get around 500,000 miles as it would rarely be fully discharged. In any case, if you are in the market for this bully Honda into selling, not leasing, and push particularly hard if you live in a cold climate and need its extraordinarily good low temperature performance. This is 180 degrees from my suggestion that you are far better off in Europe leasing from Renault than buying the Leaf with its manganese spinel technology, but the Toshiba really is an extraordinary battery.
      • 2 Years Ago
      With a lease you give up the $7500 federal tax credit reserved for buyers, right? This is not good.
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      *For some battery chemistries.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      But wait, the Leaf can be leased at $349? Correct? Does Honda not know this?
        skierpage
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        I wonder how *all* the trial EV lease programs from BMW, Mini, Smart, and now Honda are doing. They're all quite expensive, they're all in low volumes and none is competitive with the Leaf. Pricing is arbitrary when the car company is only making a few hundred vehicles.
        paulwesterberg
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        You get to pay an extra $50 for the privilege of testing a beta vehicle.
      krona2k
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd prefer to have that Toshiba SCiB battery than any other currently available, but I will not lease a car so try again Honda. You really do have to wonder how hard all this stuff is, it's a shame Nissan didn't come up with something like the SCiB - though I do not believe their batteries will be useless after 4 years except under the most extreme of scenarios (full fast charge every day).
      JP
      • 3 Years Ago
      People should go into the dealer, express interest, then walk out if told it's lease only. Honda knows how to make a good EV, they don't need this demonstration fleet BS.
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JP
        Since this is such a limited demo market area, 95% of dealers will probably respond with something like "Fine, I can't lease you one anyways" as you walk out the door.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      They are using the Toshiba SCib battery! http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/11/scib-20111117.html If you live in a cold climate, get it! With the life of these batteries, it is a nightmare that this is lease only!
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        awww man!! The other advantage of that battery is that it can be fast charged repeatedly without damage. That IS a shame about the lease then, i think the battery is rated at 10,000-30,000 cycles or something insane like that, IE it will last for frigggin' ever..
          electronx16
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Actually, the GGC article mentions 4000 cycles (the numbers one finds on this tech do tend to vary quite a bit...). Still good for about 300K miles though...
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @electron: Yeah, they are likely allowing conservatively for using more of the SOC, as I mention above.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Specifications here: http://www.toshiba.com/ind/data/tag_files/SCiB_Brochure_5383.pdf Only 6,000 cycles to 80% I'm afraid, but that is very fast charge, so if you normally charge at home you should manage 12,000!
        electronx16
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Thanks for pointing this out, it's important news. Puzzling at the same time though. Some questions: How do you squeeze a 20KWH battery with 60WH/KG (at the cell level!)energy density in a subcompact? Why doesn't Honda advertise amazing 15 minutes/80% recharges for this vehicle, in fact they don't seem to offer fast charging at all. Your right about the lease deal though. They make you pay through your nose and when they get it back the whole powertrain including the battery will still be like new. With this batterytech I would certainly buy this instead of the Leaf at the $36,625 mentioned in the article.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          I was in error. They give the SOC as 85% for no issues. They have quoted more in the Mitsubishi, but no doubt sacrifice some life to do so.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          @electron: The 4,000 cycles probably allows for a re-jigged BMS to allow greater discharge to 95% as in the Mitsubishi. They are in fact being very conservative though, as in practise most users will not regularly drain the battery so much, and so any impact on battery cycle life will be minimal. The Toshiba battery is so far ahead of others on almost all counts that it is not worth the bother of being other than very conservative in claims. As for the pdf, the new 20Ah on which is to be used is mentioned down at the bottom right and all specs except energy density are similar to the earlier ones. Toshiba is working on upping the energy density to 150Wh/kg: http://e2af.com/interview/091009.shtml
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          Where are you getting the 60Wh/kg from? This is the 20Ah version which runs at around 100Wh/kg. It can't be completely drained, but you can use 95% of it without issues. I imagine that Honda have only just settled on the battery supplier, they were perhaps negotiating on price. That would account for them not, as yet, boasting about the battery's capabilities, and perhaps they will now consider offering fast charge.
          electronx16
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          ...This PDF features SCib batterypacks that rate 50WH/KG and lower, but maybe there have been improvements since I'm not aware of: http://www.toshiba.com/ind/data/tag_files/SCiB_Brochure_5383.pdf
          electronx16
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          Well...it's great that Toshiba has such an ambitious development roadmap regarding it's SCiB tech, but I really wonder where they are right now on that curve and what exactly the numbers are going to be of the Fit battery. It's exiting tech though. If they ever get that 150WH/KG; 4000+ cycle life; recharge times in minutes and all that at about $200/KWH it's pretty much all over for the ICE...
          electronx16
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          Hmm, 85% doesn't quite cut it to explain the range difference with the Leaf. I guess they use lower SOC to get their numbers, accepting lower cycle life. In the real world drivers will be releuctant to go below 85% anyway. Range anxiety and all that...
          electronx16
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          It solves a puzzle too though: how does the Fit get more miles out of 20KWH than the Leaf out of 24KWH: the SCib can be bled dry completely.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          @electonx: From the link given above the chart of the different Toshiba SCiB battery versions: http://e2af.com/interview/images/091009/img_06.jpg
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Dave, the scib battery is quite heavy and no doubt similarly expensive. the scib battery might well be why it is lease only. it's a big mistake to use that battery. they can charge super fast though but just not worth the compromise.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Dan: I have pointed you to the specifications for the Toshiba SCiB battery in the 20Ah version used here before and you chose to disbelieve the sources I gave. Those same sources are posted here once more, and specify that the battery is 100Wh/kg, presumably at the cell level. If you choose to disbelieve them again, that it your choice. When we get the weight of the battery packs for this and for the versions of the iMiEV using them then the evidence will be quite incontrovertible, although I consider it plain already.
      Larz Larzen
      • 3 Years Ago
      $400mo.? Why even bring them over? You may as well pot a plant in it.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 3 Years Ago
      1100 vehicles over 3 years - that's less than 400 a year - this isn't a production EV, its a demo program as PR said previously. Obviously Honda is doing this and treating it like its CARB requirement from the 90's (when it destroyed the EV's it had created after the requirement was eliminated). Dragged kicking and screaming to the plug-in trough. You're right Honda, whether I like it or not you're is setting yourself up to be a loser in the plug-in auto sector. Lame Honda, very, very lame.
        Michael Walsh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Actually, it's 550 each for the first two years and none in the third year. At least that's how it was explained to me on Monday.
          Michael Walsh
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Michael Walsh
          Nope. No buyout. It goes back to Honda at the end of the lease.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Question: If the charging time with 240V is 3 hours, does it mean that with a rapid charge system it would be even faster than the 20-30 minutes time for other vehicles?
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