That last vehicle is the new Honda Fit EV, which the Japanese automaker says will be available for lease starting on July 20 in California and Oregon for $389 a month (originally, this was supposed to be $399).
Earlier this week, Mitsubishi said it would begin leasing its Mitsubishi i starting at $249 a month, with a $3,498 down payment. That lease, which will be run through Ally Financial, values the i at an MSRP of $30,675, or about $6,000 less than the Fit EV. The i has a 62-mile single-charge range.
Earlier this month, Nissan, whose Leaf can go 74 miles on a single charge, decreased the monthly lease payment amount for the Leaf by $60 to $289 a month, though the term was extended by three months to 39 months and the down payment was increased by $1,000, to $2,900. General Motors leases the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in through Ally starting at $369 a month.
The upshot of the Honda lease? No initial down payment. The downside? No option to buy it after the lease is up. And they're only making about 1,100 of them for starters.
The EPA earlier this month gave the 123-horsepower Fit EV a 118 miles-per-gallon equivalent rating –the highest given out by the agency. Read our Fit EV review here.
EPA-rated at 118 MPGe, the Honda Fit EV will lease for $389 a month
TORRANCE, Calif., June 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Honda today announced the all-new 2013 Honda Fit EV will be available for lease beginning July 20, 2012, with a three-year lease price of $389 per month. The 2013 Honda Fit EV is the latest in Honda's diverse and growing range of alternative-fuel vehicles, and received the highest fuel-efficiency rating ever given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with an adjusted combined mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 MPGe(1).
The Fit EV will be available for lease-only in key markets in Oregon and California, after which availability will expand to six East Coast markets in early 2013. The Fit EV's three-year lease price of $389 per month computes to a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $36,625.
Honda is the only automaker to offer such a diverse range of alternative fuel vehicles, which includes the Honda FCX Clarity fuel-cell electric vehicle, multiple gas-electric hybrid models and America's only mass-produced natural gas vehicle, the Honda Civic Natural Gas.
"No other automaker on the planet is more deeply committed to produce and deliver more energy-efficient and sustainable transportation solutions than Honda," said Steven Center, vice president of the American Honda Environmental Business Development Office. "The 2013 Honda Fit EV is the latest example of this commitment."
Based on the popular five-door, five-passenger Fit and Fit Sport, the 100-percent electric Fit EV features a 20-kilowatt-hour (kWh) Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery and a compact 92-kilowatt (123 horsepower) AC synchronous electric motor that generates 189 ft-lb of torque. This efficient powertrain is teamed to a chassis with a fully-independent suspension and a driver-selectable 3-mode drive system adapted from the CR-Z Sport Hybrid. The result is a fun-to-drive EV with a class-leading EPA combined city/highway estimated driving range rating of 82-miles(1).
An onboard charger allows the vehicle to be plugged into any household-type 120-volt or available 240-volt AC power supply. When connected to a 240-volt circuit, the Fit EV battery can be recharged in less than three hours from a low charge indicator illumination point.(2) When connected to an outlet, charging can be started or stopped with an included Fit EV interactive remote control, through an available smartphone application, or through the internet on a personal computer.
Customers interested in leasing or learning more about the Fit EV are encouraged to sign up at www.FitEV.Honda.com.
Fit EV Summary
20-kWh Li-Ion battery
Maintenance-free 92-kW AC synchronous electric motor
MPGe ratings(1) of 132/105/118 city/highway/combined
EPA combined city/highway estimated driving range rating of 82-miles(1)
3-mode drive system (Econ, Normal, Sport)
Regenerative braking system
Included 120-volt portable charging cable
240-volt charge capability
Standard Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System
Interactive Remote Control
Available free smartphone app
15-inch alloy wheels
Unique aerodynamic body details
Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure
Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®)
Passenger volume, 89.3 cu-ft.
Cargo volume, rear seat up/down: 12.0/49.4 cu-ft.
Body Length x Width x Height: 162.0 x 67.7 x 62.2 in.
Wheelbase: 98.4 in.
Fit EV Firsts
First use of next-gen Honda Bio-Fabric seat material
First Honda model to use new HondaLink EV™ telematics
First Fit model to feature multi-link rear suspension
First Fit model to use lightweight aluminum front subframe
The electric motor drives the Fit EV through a high-efficiency coaxial gearbox with a single forward ratio. The 3-Mode Drive System's ECON mode can help the driver improve range from the NORMAL mode, while in the SPORT mode, improved responsiveness adds to the Fit EV's fun-to-drive nature. In all modes, a new regenerative braking system returns energy to the battery pack during deceleration and braking. Additionally, a driver-selectable "B" mode optimizes the rate of regenerative braking.
The onboard charger allows the vehicle to be plugged into any household-type 120-volt or available 240-volt AC power supply. When connected to a household 120-volt power supply with the included portable charging cable, the Fit EV can be fully recharged in less than 15 hours. With a suitable 240-volt AC Level 2 supply connected to the Fit EV's standard onboard double-power 6.6 kW charger, the charge time from low-charge indicator illumination is less than three hours. A 240-volt charging station is available for customer purchase through Leviton, Honda's preferred electric charging equipment supplier.
An interactive remote control with a range of up to 100 feet can also control charging and operation of the climate control system when the Fit EV is connected to a power supply. To allow charging at the lowest available electricity rates, charge scheduling can be set via the Multi-Information Display (MID) or by an available free Fit EV smartphone app.
The compact Fit EV shares its essential design and engineering features with the gasoline-powered Fit and Fit Sport, and has aerodynamic upgrades and unique styling cues that set it apart. The unit-body utilizes 56-percent high-strength steel that maximizes stiffness without adding unnecessary weight.
The Fit EV's 162.0-inch overall length belies an extraordinary amount of interior space, and the 98.4-inch wheelbase pushes the wheels toward the edges of the body envelope, resulting in a remarkable blend of ride quality and handling agility. The 58.5-inch front/57.6-inch rear track adds both cornering stability and interior roominess.
Aerodynamic innovations include a revised and more efficient front end, grille area and lower fascia. Along the body sides, the rocker panels now feature aggressive air-control shapes behind the front wheels as well as ahead of the rear wheels. The rear spoiler and lower fascia have been redesigned to further reduce aerodynamic drag.
The Fit EV's smooth ride, nimble handling and connected-to-the-road feel starts with its rigid steel unit body, enabling precise handling and body control. The MacPherson strut front suspension has been optimized and the Fit's H-shaped torsion beam rear suspension has been replaced with a rear multi-link system. The Fit EV's Li-Ion battery pack is packaged beneath the floor of the vehicle, preserving the Fit's outstanding interior space.
An electrically power-assisted hydraulic braking system utilizes 11.1-inch ventilated front discs and 8.7-inch rear drums, along with a new electric servo braking system that helps to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack while the vehicle is coasting or braking. Electric Power Steering (EPS) is standard.
The Fit EV is equipped with low rolling-resistance P185/60R15 all-season tires with 15x6.0-inch, five-lug aluminum alloy wheels. A flat tire repair kit eliminates the need for a spare tire, allowing extra room for the under-floor Li-Ion battery pack, and roadside assistance comes standard with the Fit EV for the length of the lease.
The Fit EV has a roomy five-passenger interior offering a high level of comfort and remarkable versatility. Seating features include a manual tilt and telescope steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and a new version of Honda's Bio-Fabric seat material.
Helping drivers to operate the vehicle more efficiently is new analog and digital instrumentation, which displays the vehicle's energy use, the lithium-ion battery pack's state of charge, and estimated remaining driving range. An ECO scoring system lets drivers know how efficiently they're operating the vehicle, and other indicators show the energy used by the climate control system and other systems.
The FIT EV is well equipped with a standard six-speaker 160-watt audio system that includes a USB(3) audio interface and Bluetooth®(4) HandsFreeLink®. In addition, a standard Voice-Activated Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System includes the locations of public EV recharging stations, as well as a graphic depiction of estimated driving range.
The new Fit EV offers a broad range of standard active and passive safety features designed to help protect not only its occupants, but also pedestrians and the occupants of other vehicles. Standard active safety features include Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, a 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
An Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure helps make the vehicle highly effective at absorbing and dispersing the energy of a frontal crash, while daytime running lights (DRL) and a pedestrian injury mitigation design in the front of the vehicle further improve safety. The 2013 Fit EV is expected to receive an Overall Vehicle Score of 5 Stars in NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) tests, and a Top Safety Pick by the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Honda Financial Services Lease
The new Fit EV is available exclusively on a 36-month closed-end lease for $389 per month (plus tax, $0 cap cost reduction). This lease payment price includes the cost reduction for the available $7,500 federal EV tax credit. The first month's payment plus tax and license fees are due at lease signing, and the lease allows up to 12,000 miles-per-year. Lease payment includes roadside assistance, routine maintenance and navigation Point of Interest updates. There will be no purchase option at lease end, and customers are responsible for insurance(5). Customers interested in leasing the Fit EV can begin the process at www.FitEV.Honda.com, which provides an EV Readiness Assessment to determine if they are a good candidate for a Fit EV lease.
Manufacturing and Warranty
The Fit EV is manufactured by Honda at the New Model Center in Tochigi, Japan, the same facility that manufactures the FCX Clarity fuel-cell electric vehicle. It is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile Limited Vehicle Warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile Corrosion Limited Warranty. The Fit EV Lithium-Ion Battery Warranty is in addition to Limited Warranty and continues for the duration of the lease of the vehicle.
Honda Environmental Leadership
Besides producing the Fit EV, Honda has developed numerous technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Honda has also 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 11 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.
Connect with Honda:
Media Newsroom (for journalists): www.hondanews.com
Fit EV (for consumers): http://automobiles.honda.com/fit-ev
Fit EV on Facebook
Honda on Google+
(1) 132/105/118 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.
(2) From low-charge indicator illumination point to full charge
(3) The USB Audio Interface is used for direct connection to and control of some current digital audio players and other USB devices that contain MP3, WMA or AAC music files. Some USB devices with security software and digital rights-protected files may not work. See your Honda dealer for details.
(4) The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any such use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., is under license.
(5) Subject 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.