Honda has made good on its promise to deliver its first Fit EV, and that delivery took place in California on Friday. Matt and Becky Walton, of Ventura County, can now claim they have the first example of Honda's all-electric car, which costs $389 a month. The Waltons got the first Fit EV because they were the first ones to sign up for a lease at the car's website. They've owned at least four other Hondas, the automaker says, going back to the 1970s.

In a statement, Matt said, "It's truly an honor to take delivery of the first Honda Fit EV and participate in the advancement of all-electric vehicles in the real world," but he didn't mention the fact that Honda's "real-world" EV push is, in this case at least, available for a limited time only, and in limited areas. Leases start in California and Oregon now and will expand to the East Coast early next year.

The EPA rated the Fit EV at 118 MPGe and gives it an official range of 82 miles. The car's highly efficient energy consumption is 29 kWh per 100 miles. Read our First Drive review of the Fit EV here.
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Honda Delivers First Fit EV to California Customer
The EPA-rated 118 MPGe Fit EV is now available for lease in select California and Oregon markets


07/20/2012 - WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., delivered the first all-electric 2013 Honda Fit EV to a couple in Southern California, the company announced today. The 2013 Honda Fit EV is the latest in Honda's diverse and expansive portfolio of alternative-fuel vehicles, earning a combined adjusted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 MPGe1, and an unprecedented low consumption rating of just 29 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 miles.

Ventura County, Calif., residents, Matt and Becky Walton, took delivery of their Honda Fit EV at the Woodland Hills Honda dealership located north of Los Angeles. The couple was the very first registrant to sign up to lease the Fit EV at www.FitEV.Honda.com and plan to use their vehicle as a daily commuter car. Matt and Becky Walton have a long history of owning Honda vehicles, beginning with a Honda N600 sedan and a Honda Z600 coupe in the 1970s and now a Honda Odyssey which will be used as a secondary car.

"It's truly an honor to take delivery of the first Honda Fit EV and participate in the advancement of all-electric vehicles in the real world," said Mr. Walton. "The Honda Fit EV is not only a sustainable and energy efficient transportation option with the highest fuel-efficiency rating of any EV, but it has the added bonus of being fun-to-drive and can fully recharge from empty in less than three hours."

Addressing a critical step in advancing electric vehicles in the real world, American Honda initially will certify Honda dealers in select California and Oregon markets as Fit EV dealers to provide an excellent customer experience for Fit EV customers' sales and service needs.

The Fit EV will be available for lease-only in key markets starting in California and Oregon, after which availability will expand to East Coast markets in early 2013. The Fit EV's lease price of $389 per month2 over a three-year term computes to a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $36,625.

Customers interested in leasing or learning more about the Fit EV are encouraged to sign up at www.FitEV.Honda.com.

###

1132/105/118 city/highway/combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) rating; 82 mile combined (city/highway) driving range rating (adjusted). Ratings determined by U.S. EPA. Your MPGe and range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-electric-label.shtml.

2Subject to limited availability through October 2014 in designated market regions on approved credit through American Honda Finance Corp. Closed end lease for 2013 Honda Fit EV for well-qualified lessees meeting specific use and operation requirements. Not all applicants will qualify. No purchase option at lease end. MSRP $37,415 (includes destination). Excludes tax, title, license, registration, options and insurance. Zero capitalized cost reduction. Total monthly payments $14,004.00. Lessee responsible for non-routine maintenance, excessive wear/tear and up to $0.20/mi. over 12,000 mi./yr. Lease includes collision coverage, routine maintenance, roadside assistance and navigation system updates


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      Zapbrannigan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very good, but the question has to be asked: Why aren't these cars for sale? Why only lease? Doesn't add up.
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zapbrannigan
        Well, it's a compliance car and most compliance cars are lease only. Supposedly it is because of a law that says a car for sale must be supported (with replacement parts and services) for 10 years, but I have never seen anyone be able to tell me which section of the law (state or federal) specifies such a requirement.
          krona2k
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          I've heard that some smaller car companies will infact rent cars, take them apart, and put them back together again. Much cheaper than buying competitors cars.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          "If you lease the car you know that your competitor can't buy one and take it apart." What's stopping them? Once they have the car off the lot, they can do whatever they want with it.
          Peter
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          The need to supply parts is often quoted. There is also the fact that any low series compliance car is the result of expensive proprietary technology development. If you lease the car you know that your competitor can't buy one and take it apart.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zapbrannigan
        It's very simple - Honda doesn't want to warranty the car with parts, etc. for the next 15-20 years. When the leases are up, into the crusher they go!
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zapbrannigan
        It could also be that the Fit will be replaced with a new version next year.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zapbrannigan
        California ZEV mandate creates a strange situation like this.. Where car companies don't want to sell or make money on these. They don't want to make a business case for EVs, and they also don't want you to keep it long enough to see how the battery degrades over time. BUT.. they want credits to avoid having additional taxes levied on them. Maybe they also want to test batteries long term? but.. batteries are constantly evolving.. so that doesn't make sense.
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a Honda hybrid owner, I was initially really excited about the Fit EV, but I feel that it's overpriced. The Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi i-MIEV would be a better deal as far as electrics go; as far as Hondas go, a normal Fit, an Insight, or a Civic hybrid would probably be better deals.
      PeterScott
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now I see more clearly the Tesla Rationale on batteries. Use inexpensive, high energy density cells and deal with downsides through active cooling/BMS. Expensive/Low density cells have many other advantages, but the cost/density seems to keep them out of production vehicles. AFAIK, Altairnano, makes a similar cells to the SCiBs and they end up in Drag racers, product demos and doomed projects. SCiB and Nanosafe batteries will have to get a better Cost/Density equation to make headway.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      BTW: The weight of the battery pack is lower than the weight would be with other chemistries with the same energy density. This is because you can use much more of the pack than you can in, for instance, the Nissan Leaf, which has a DOD of 80% compared to 95% in the Fit. The Panasonics in the Tesla not only have to have a smaller DOD, but must be wired together in packs, and need a sophisticated cooling system. The SCiB battery both wastes very little energy as it hardly heats up when charging and discharging, and due to the same characteristics is absolutely fine with the simplest air cooling, far more so than the Leaf. So the energy density for usable kilowatts at the pack level is far higher comparatively than the 100Wh/kg at the cell level implies.
      Seph
      • 2 Years Ago
      I just wish it stays on lease... This leasing system makes more environmental, more affordable, and more reasonable..
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Seph
        I'm not sure you realize this . . . but you can offer both. In fact, pretty much every car can be leased or bought.
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Seph
        Look up what happened to the EV1 lease. Leases suck. Plus it lets people afford cars they can't afford.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      "It's truly an honor to take delivery of the first Honda Fit EV and participate in the advancement of all-electric vehicles in the real world," That's some comment. An honor to give Honda your money so you can drive their car? Sounds like a business deal to me. Now if they let you drive it for free...
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      They don't care about the $389, they own Wal Mart!
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's too bad he doesn't know any Volt drivers. For $20 less, he could have gotten one of those.
        Aron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Volt? Volt is a hybrid. Just get a 19K Honda Insight instead of the $45K Volt.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Peter: You can't calculate the energy density of a 20Ah cell from that of a 4.2Ah cell which is shown on the page you reference, The reason Toshiba developed the 20Ah version was to increase energy density for use in cars. They say: 'Now in production are high energy density 4.2 Ah cells. Additionally, Toshiba is aggressively pursuing a product roadmap focused on further increasing SCiBâ„¢ capacity, energy density, and power density. 20 Ah cells with the same characteristics will be available in 2011.' http://www.toshiba.com/ind/data/tag_files/SCiB_Brochure_5383.pdf And the link I have used to substantiate this appears to be live again now: 'As for EVs, we will begin to ship samples with the nominal capacity of 20Ah and the energy density of 100Wh/kg this fall. The energy density is sufficient for a small EV, but in order to drive a larger EV, the energy density needs to be raised to around 150Wh/kg. We are already working on this, and we are putting further efforts into research for EV batteries (Fig.6).' http://e2af.com/interview/091009.shtml That was in 2011, and those are the batteries going into the MiniCab and the Fit.
      PeterScott
      • 2 Years Ago
      SCiB batteries sound just about perfect. Fast charging, high power output, low heat production, wide temperature range. Thousands of recharge cycles... Until you get to the Specific Energy density, it is about Half conventional Lithiums. So for the same capacity your pack would weigh twice as much (and likely cost a fair bit more). There is some mitigation because you can drive the pack to deeper discharge, but it doesn't make up for the weaker specific energy density. That would explain why there isn't a rush to SCiB batteries.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Does it have a battery cooling system ? Because we learn this week with the leaf story that heat can permanently damage a battery.
        goodoldgorr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Even with that i won't buy it but im glad it appear better then the leaf battery. I won't buy it because honda didn't back this car by their own marketing and they say nothing good about this car and battery from their own words. If it resist heat or do not heat under the work load and is easy to fast charge then i would like to hear it from honda engineers and marketers themself, not a limp old forgotten internet article dating from last year. Did they tested this battery thourouphly and is it warrenty for 10 years. And the second reason is that even if honda is a specialist of gasoline electric generator, they didn't fit any gasoline range-extender to go along with this car so you cannot do long travel and forget the idea of fast charging along the way because there is no fast chargers anywhere when it's needed and it won't have any for the forseeable future.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          You can only lease the car so the durability is not your concern, especially since you have no intention of leasing the car anyway. The specifications of the battery have not changed since last year, and the makers, Toshiba, are at least as reputable as Honda.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        'The SCiB charges in about half the time of a typical Li-ion battery, Toshiba says. An SCiB 20Ah cell charged with an 80Ah current will reach 80% of capacity in 15 minutes and 95% in an additional 3 minutes. The SCiB generates little heat even during this fast recharging, eliminating the need for power to cool the battery module. Moreover, the full charge-discharge cycle for SCiB is 4,000 times, more than 2.5 times that of other Li-ion batteries. This long life could also contribute to the reuse of the battery. ' http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/11/scib-20111117.html
          Actionable Mango
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Sounds great. Why isn't everyone using them?
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          They have only just started production. There may be price issues too, we don't know.
      Levine Levine
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Fit already has enough handicaps: only 80 miles range, small, indistinguish styling from the regular Fit, and a high price tag. Then Honda add 'salt to the wound' by insisting consumer may only lease it. Another disaster coming from Honda following on the heel of the IMA fiasco.
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Levine Levine
        I agree, the price is too high and it's lease only compliance car, so mainly pointless IMO. But in the looks/specs department I judge it better the real shipping Nissan LEAF. If it was actually available for purchase and priced like the Leaf, I would choose the Honda.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Levine Levine
        I'm usually opposed to your ramblings, but there's some truth to what you've said here. The Fit EV is a lukewarm effort by Honda and more a compliance car than anything else..
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