You can’t buy Honda’s 2014 Fit EV in North America
As Honda cautiously enters the electric car arena, it comes to light that the only ‘true’ all electric car in the Honda line up will be painfully limited in production and available to a very exclusive group of “well qualified” lessees. It becomes very apparent that Honda’s focus for future automotive development is displayed in the not too distant future FCEV and current Civic, Accord, CR-V, CR-X and 2015 Fit and Vezel Hybrids.
Honda for reasons known only to Honda has limited the production of the 2014 Fit EV to 40 cars per month.
According to the company website, production of the Fit Ev will be limited to 1100 units in the first 2 years. With distribution limited to California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Rhode Island. My guess is these states offer alternative fueled vehicle tax credits and express lane privileges.
For Honda, market placement is one of calculated risk, logical and strategic progression.
We also know that West Coast Los Angeles and Orange County has the toughest emission standard in the U.S.; with New York and the Eastern Seaboard a close second.
Torrance, Ca. is home base to American Honda Motors and within a few hours of Sacramento, Ca. resides ‘Green’ advocate and alternative transportation promoter Governor Jerry Brown.
California has partnered with Honda on several projects as demonstrated recently by the state’s $100 million matching fund hydrogen refueling network.
Apparently Honda remains cautiously optimistic as to the marketability of a ‘ true’ stand -alone EV.
We at Honda-Torque News find this revelation to be a bit disheartening, but from a marketing standpoint acknowledge Honda’s caution.
For those fortunate enough to secure a lease on the Fit EV, Honda is offering a 3-year/ $259 month lease, with $259 + tax, license and delivery at time of signing.
Reading the bottom line we discover that the ‘release’ is limited. Actually reading the fine print we discover that Honda has no intention of releasing or allowing a buy-out at the end of lease.
Interestingly enough, this program appears to be a bold experiment on behalf of American Honda Motors. As of today, the February allotment of the Fit EV is leased out. It becomes very apparent that America is ready, willing and able to purchase the Honda Fit EV.
Looking to the specifications of the car we find the Fit EV to be exceptional as to stated torque, range and battery technological advances.
As with all EVs, Honda warns the end user that actual MPG e will vary, and will be affected by swings in temperature, driving conditions, terrain, speed , etc… What we do like is Honda’s lithium-Ion battery cell and integrated “quick charge” system. Honda is including a home base 220 amp charging station as part of the lease package. Charging time? 3/ 6 hours.
Note: The quick charge system will take the batteries to 17% in 30 minutes from the low battery warning.
For extending range, Honda has integrated a 3 position drive mode button. This affords the driver an economy, regular drive and performance option when needed for passing. You’ll also find this option in the 2014 Accord Hybrid and FX-R Sports Hybrid.
The “ Earth Dreams” Honda electric motor is rated at 92 KW and produces 189 lb-ft pounds of torque. To put this into perspective, a gasoline powered Fit produces 107 lb-ft pounds; 70% less than the electric variant.
The car delivers torque off the line and throughout the driving range. For those wishing to read the Fit EV’s specifications, you can find them here. The rest of the car is all Honda Fit.
You will either love the Fit or you won’t. Improved for 2014-2015, you’ll find a nicer ‘soft surface’ interior, decent finishes and an independent suspension ride. And of course, Honda electronic personal interface second to none. Including a cellphone application to time or turn off the charger remotely.
The majority of our readers have reported a very positive ownership experience with the gasoline variant Fit Sport. We have no reason to believe that the Fit EV will not live up to Honda quality standards. However, until Honda or another major automotive manufacturer steps up to the plate with a mass produced and marketed EV, the car will fall in line with other small EV cult classics.
While a viable EV doesn't have to be the size of a Tesla S,, or have the power to beat a Corvette at the drag strip to be successful in the U.S., it does have to hit the market at an affordable price point with a battery pack that will live the distance of average car ownership.
In the U.S., a rising cost of initial investment has dictated an extended length of title for most car owners. An EV with a substantially higher initial cost of investment can’t be the exception to the rule. For EVs to take a prominent position in the future of automotive history, battery technological and subsiquent development must jump light years ahead as to capacity and discharge rates.
We are hopeful that battery development and storage cell body panel development as demonstrated by Volvo will spawn the next generation of affordable, long range and long life EVs, soon...
Very soon Honda...