Honda Fit EV
Douglas Stansfield's picture

Three Reasons I Do Not Recommend Honda Fit EV

What does Honda do to its loyal buyers who want an electric car?

Back in the day before LiFePo4 batteries, there were cars like the Citicar in the 1970s that had the correct vision by wanting to create an EV brand, but was limited by the storage system available at the time. That car had energy stored in its Lead Acid battery pack. Today we nick name those “Lead Sleds” which were extremely heavy cars and couldn’t store as much energy. So the range was weak and the car was heavy.

Fast forward to today. Lots of people love one brand of car over another so brand loyalty does exist. Since California’s CARB introduced its zero emissions mandate, almost all car companies have complied and built EVs so they “comply” with the standard. So one Car Company comes to mind that has complied and built a compliance car EV is Honda.

The Honda Fit EV is a compliance car that was not sold but only leased and only a very limited number was produced. While many people were on the waiting list to get this EV when it first came out, it was lacking some forethought and planning. These factors make it an EV car I would never recommend to people.

Here are my reasons:

  1. The Brand has made me NON-LOYAL which means, since they do not support EVs, I will not support them. It’s that simple.
  2. The cars winter range was less than 50 miles which means you can only go 25 miles each way if you don’t have a charge in the middle.
  3. Lack of a Fast Charger Option. – Crucial in my mind for any EV “would be” buyer. Without this, you are always 4 hours of charge at 240v. You always need a 480v charge solution to extend your driving radius around your home.

So as with the Citicar’s lead acid batteries held them back, the Honda Fit EV truly lacks range that is needed and has turned Honda Loyal buyers into EV haters as the first experience with an EV turned out very negative for some Honda Fit Leasees. Maybe this was the thought all along. Make people that want Honda EVs, hate Honda EVs. Very sad.

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Comments

Good reasoning. However this is an opinion based diatribe! Honda has promised to continue to develop, promote and sell stand alone EVs, electric/ gasoline hybrids and H.F.C.V. over the next 2 model years. looking to the Japanese market, I'll take them at their word. I too am a bit more than disappointed as to Honda's stalled involvement in the alternative fueled personal transportation business. But as you know, 'Business is Business," In today's automotive market... cheep gasoline fueled high- MPG is driving sales. You write as if "Compliance" is a dirty word. Without it, manufacturer's could not sell cars in North America's largest market; Los Angeles. In truth, looking to history, Honda built and leased just as many EVs as they had promised to. No more, no less. I've driven the Fit EV and liked it. In my test run we approached 80 miles with 10% left in reserve. As you know, based on your own experience, range will vary based on terrain, temperature and the age of the battery module. You further know that Fit EV range can be extended by upgrading the module. And.... that aftermarket quick charge systems are available for the application. Leaving personal opinion aside, I'd personally appreciate you addressing the manufactured quality of Fit EV. Do you have that info in your pocket? Welcome aboard!
i think that you are mistaken about aftermarket quick charging for the Honda. To my knowledge, our company is the only one offering this product, and we have no intention to offer that for a lease-only car that will ultimately be crushed. Also, you may not fully understand the issues with range loss for a Fit EV in cold weather (with titanate lithium cells). Yes, all battery cars lose range in cold weather, but the Honda has an "exceptional" loss in comparison to all other battery cars. Without California Air Resources Board (CARB) motivation, it's likely that not only would there not be a Fit EV, there also would not be Toyota RAV4 EV, GM Spark EV, Fiat / Chrysler 500e, Ford Focus Electric, Mercedes B-Class ED, and VW eGolf.
I'm pretty sure almost every Honda Fit I've seen in NJ does not have the SAE quick charge or the CHAdeMo. I have range loss in the winter in NJ but nothing like the Honda Fit. I'm not sure any of the other cars would be build either without the mandate as you state but I can only hope that Honda will change its mind and get back into the fray for a pure EV going forward!
Thank you Tony. As you know, Honda is the world's largest internal combustion engine manufacturer, and motorcycle manufacturer. I believe that the company could financially survive without producing any automobiles. I further believe you to be spot-on as to C.A.R.B. compliance. Believe me , I get it! Thank you for your kind enlightenment as to the charge system.
Thanks for your note. Honda as far as I know, only leased these cars so here is round two of the "Who killed the Electric Car movie". I'm glad you liked the car but compliance is compliance and to me they only made enough cars to meet the government requirement. Compare this to Nissan that lead the charge (sorry I couldn't help the pun) and drove EV sales. I have heard report after report this past winter that the Fit EV's range was less than 50 miles and in NJ at negative 10 degrees, this car didn't stack up well at all. Now, that being said, I want Honda to make more EVs! I hope they do, I'm not a fan of "fool Cells" as Elon Musk calls them and that is the road that Honda is travelling down and the Fit EV is just a bump in the road to them it seems. I hope they change their mind and start to, once again, embrace EVs for the true market opportunity that they are for the future of our transportation fleet! Thanks for your comments. I truly appreciate them!
Douglas. You may wish to go to the Torque News "Search" bar, type in Honda Fit EV, Honda Davis Smart House, Honda Dealership Energy Program, Honda FCEV, Honda Fuel Cell Development, I participated in alternative energy, fuel cell development and EV development in the 1970 s through yesterday morning... You know what I'm saying? To me, Mr. Musk is simply a glorified corporate raider with a big check book. and an even larger ego. Granted, he does put his money where his mouth is, I admire him for that. His next $ billion will come from battery development and cross-brand marketing. As swell as Tesla is(we have one in the neighborhood), He'd tell you the same thing.... Hey, lets talk something of relevant concern. Such as shielding EV drivers and passengers from EMF radiation. What's Musk and company doing to address that concern? Now that would make for viable and helpful commentary. We're not here to bash individual manufacturers. Cheers!
Well Parks, we can agree to stay on the support side of EVs. I'm into EVs and companies that run away and toward Fuel Cells are going in the wrong direction for me. How many Fueling stations are there now? How many EVSEs are there now? The deployment of EVSE infrastructure is coming and the cost of putting in a Hydrogen Fueling stations in is counterproductive in my view. Lets both stick to and support EVs! I'm glad you are involved in this and hope you continue to be. I don't personally know Elon but truly appreciate his efforts to change the world! Without Tesla, I doubt many auto companies would have gone the EV route!
Good point, however, as you know, unless EV charging is achieved via hydro, wind, or PV, EV users are simply redirecting an alternative source of carbon based fuel. The road to sustainability is a twisty one. Now, if your interest in EV is solely based on an appreciation of relatively silent torque, I'm with you.
Mr. Stansfield I have a 2014 Honda Fit EV and I love it. I have a 40 mile round trip commute so even in the winter the drive is not a problem. I also live in Oregon where there are ample charging stations. I've driven this car 14,000 miles in 12 months and haven't had this much fun since I had a 67 Mustang. I pay $258 per month for the vehicle soon to drop to $199 per month at the end of my original 3 year lease which will be extended another 2 years. Even at $258 per month I'm breaking even on what I formally paid for gasoline and maintenance.
Good information Dan. I've yet to interview a Honda Fit EV owner that didn't love their Honda EV experience. Stansfield's comment is based on personal opinion and is not the opinion of Honda-Torque News.
I wonder if Honda Fit EV has changed by now 3 years later.
My opinion hasn't changed at all. I just hit 41,000 miles with my 2014 Fit EV and I still love it. Oddly enough I've also not experienced any battery degradation like I would have expected. My only regret is that I have to give it back in April of 2019.