Honda still isn’t interested in bringing the Fit/Jazz Hybrid to North America, but the company did roll out a new green variant that is coming to our market: the 2013 Fit EV.
Look familiar? For the most part, this production model is nearly identical to a “concept” shown at last year’s Los Angeles auto show. As such, the car looks almost identical to the standard gas-powered Fit, although there are a few changes. The grille has been filled in, while a chrome trim accent runs between the headlamps. The front bumper fascia has a taller, more angular look, while rocker panels have grown to improve the car’s aerodynamics. In fact, the only difference between this car and the original concept is a lack of massive, overbearing graphics on the side.
Fit EVs utilize a 20-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which in turn, powers a 92-kW electric motor derived from the unit used in the FCX Clarity. Honda says a 6.6-kW charger is located onboard the car; when plugged into a 240-volt supply, a full recharge takes about three hours.
But perhaps the most important performance metric on an EV like this is range. Honda expects that, if abiding by the EPA’s city test cycle, the Fit EV could travel 123 miles on a single charge. Impressive, but the combined city/highway range estimate of 76 miles is perhaps a bit more realistic for most drivers. Those who need coaching to improve efficiency can rely both on the bespoke gauge cluster and information screens, or switch the drive mode from either normal or sport to Econ. Doing so could theoretically improve range by as much as 17 percent.
Honda’s already announced it will provide Fit EVs to Torrance, California; Google; and Stanford University as part of its own electric vehicle demonstration program, but that doesn’t mean the car will be inaccessible to the public. The 2013 Fit EV will be available on a very limited basis, and only by means of a lease program. MSRP for the car is $36,625, but will run about $399 a month. Only 1100 cars are expected to be produced over the next three years.
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