Honda delivers first Fit EV

by Ernie Hernandez on January 29, 2012

Honda Fit EVCity of Torrance gets demonstration vehicle

We wrote in February of last year that Honda would introduce the Fit EV in a demonstration program in the city of Torrance, California. Almost twelve months later, this has finally come to pass. In addition, Honda will be offering a vehicle to Stanford University and one to Google as well as part of this demonstration program.

Honda’s goal is to offer the Fit EV for lease in select markets in California and Oregon by the summer of 2012. Then again, they expected to have these three demonstration vehicles distributed last year. Apparently Nissan is not the only major manufacturer with slippery electric vehicle (EV) deadlines. The Fit EV is slated to expand to six East Coast markets in 2013. One difference we noted between last year’s press release, and the current release – it seems the on-board charger has been increased from a 3.3 kilowatt unit to twice that, as charge time has gone from six hours to three. Range will be similar to that of a LEAF. Horsepower will be more in the Fit (123 vs. 107 for LEAF), but no mention was made of the Fit’s torque. Battery size of the Fit EV will be 20 kilowatt hours vs. 24 kilowatt hours in the LEAF.

Honda has worked with the city of Torrance to evaluate potential charging station locations. City government EV fleet development is also under discussion.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasparilla January 30, 2012 at 10:46 am

It’s good to see Honda dipping its toe (and truly just dipping its toe) into the EV market again, sad they aren’t allowing outright purchases or a bigger battery. Like Toyota they seem to really be holding back with the EV and plug-in market…I was expecting them to be much more aggressive with their actions with Hybrids (Toyota could have had a plug in Prius before the Volt or Leaf were announced).

I sadly remember after the leases were up on Honda’s previous EV car (EV Plus) back in the 90’s, they took them all back and had them destroyed (drivers loved them). Hopefully the Fit EV’s won’t be mistreated so badly.

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) January 30, 2012 at 11:02 am

It seems as if Honda is taking the extremely cautious approach – perhaps flavored by some of the activity (or lack thereof) of EV sales to date. As Carlos Ghosn said in Revenge of the Electric Car (paraphrased) – “Every day that our competitors do not enter this market is a good day for Nissan”. I feel that there is enough interest, will be enough demand, and that logistics will be sorted out in time, to make the EV market a truly viable supplement to the traditional automotive market. There will always be a place for gasoline or gasoline/electric hybrids. Our early adoption of pure battery electric vehicles is waking a previously unknown demand primarily because no one thought to look for it. Ghosn’s foresight will benefit Nissan initially (and perhaps ultimately) regarding EV usage. Too, there is the benefit to all that will have cleaner air to breathe.

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Sasparilla January 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Very well said LEAFguy. I think my disappointment with Toyota and Honda (in particular) is due to their experience with hybrids (and EV’s previously) and their ability to easily enter this market if they wished to do so – instead it appears they are being dragged, reluctantly (of course the Germans are even worse), into it – which is a shame.

Good for Nissan and GM though. That scene in Revenge of the Electric car with Ghosn saying the phrase you mentioned was awesome. Finances allowing, I will give Nissan and GM my money for decisively making these vehicles available, unlike the rest of the field.

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