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Honda Fit EV Gets Best-Ever 118 MPGe Rating

Limited roll-out scheduled for coming summer.

by on Jun.06, 2012

The 2013 Honda Fit EV wins the EPA's highest mileage-equivalency rating yet, at 118 MPGe.

The new Honda Fiat EV has landed a 118 MPGe federal fuel economy rating, the highest ever granted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Scheduled to go into limited distribution over the summer the 2013 Fit EV is Honda’s first battery-electric vehicle in two decades and enters a fast-emerging market segment that will soon include offerings from most of the major automakers – as well as new start-ups like California’s Tesla Motors.

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The EPA’s Combined 118 MPGe rating shoots Honda past the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, at 112 MPGe, the Ford Focus Electric, at 105 MPGe, and the Nissan Leaf, rated at 99 MPGe.


Honda Looks Beyond New Fit EV

Maker isn’t plugging all eggs into one electric basket.

by on Nov.18, 2011

Honda will begin leasing the Fit EV for $399 a month next summer, in California and Oregon.

Honda took the wraps off its first battery-electric vehicle, the2013 Honda  Fit EV, which will roll into showrooms in select markets next summer.

But the Japanese maker, an early pioneer in hybrid technology, is clearly not ready to plug all its eggs into one electric basket.  While it will expand its battery car efforts, company officials stress they’re not walking away from other alternative powertrain solutions – which range from natural gas to hydrogen, as well as even cleaner gasoline engines.

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“We don’t know if the answer is electric or hydrogen or natural gas,” cautioned Mike Accavitti, the maker’s U.S. marketing chief, “so, at Honda, we’re working on all of them.”

Honda has opted for a lease-only approach for the Fit EV, the base car planned to carry a $399 monthly charge based on an estimated $36,625 MSRP.


Honda Debuting EV and Plug-In Hybrid at Geneva

Marks big, albeit belated, push into advanced battery technology.

by on Feb.11, 2011

Honda plans to have the Fit EV in production in 2012.

Honda will roll out a pair of new prototypes at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show meant to underscore the maker’s new commitment to battery propulsion.  Until recently, the automaker was earning a reputation for recalcitrance, dismissing lithium-ion technology in favor of older, more limited hybrids and hydrogen power.

The star of the Honda stand at the PALExpo convention center will likely be a prototype Honda Fit EV, which the maker intends to bring to market in 2012 – and use to directly challenge its Japanese rival, Nissan, which recently launched the Leaf, the world’s first mass-production battery-electric vehicle.

“The Honda EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda’s upcoming production battery electric vehicle, the Fit EV, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012,” said a statement from the Japanese maker, which referred to the battery car as intended “to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter.”

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Honda has long dismissed lithium-ion technology as limited in application and too costly for the mass market.  Instead, the maker has steadfastly stuck with its “mild hybrid” IMA drivetrain, which relies on less powerful but well-tested nickel-metal hydride batteries.  Longer-term, Honda has contended that the future is in hydrogen power – as used in the fuel-cell-powered Honda FCX Clarity.


First Look: 2012 Honda Fit EV

Maker sets entry into emerging battery-car market.

by on Nov.18, 2010

Honda will bring out a production version of the Fit EV in 2012, the maker confirmed.

Honda made an appropriately auspicious splash, Wednesday, as it staged its first-ever global preview at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

And, suitably enough, the event marked the debut of the Japanese maker’s new Honda Fit EV Concept, a thinly-disguised version of the battery car it will put into production in 2012, said the automaker’s CEO Takanobu Ito.

Though Honda was the first to bring a hybrid-electric vehicle to the U.S. market, it has been struggling to set a clear course for its future electrification efforts, in part due to its concerns about the viability of lithium-ion battery technology.  But earlier this year, Ito decided Honda could no longer dither and has announced a relatively aggressive program to expand its use of battery power.

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“A change of this scale is not easy for consumers, for the auto industry or for the (electric) infrastructure,” he acknowledged in explanation of Honda’s continuing concerns about battery propulsion.

But the maker has clearly recognized it must move beyond its current mild hybrid technology.  And the production version of the Fit EV – which will begin field testing next year – is only part of Honda’s strategy.