Honda Fit EV 2013 review
The new Honda Fit EV 2013 is based on the popular Fit hatchback and is a part of the company’s diverse portfolio of alternative fuel vehicles that includes gasoline-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell-electric and natural gas-powered models. The exterior dimensions of the Fit EV are identical to the gasoline-powered Fit with the addition of a higher hip point to accommodate the under floor placement of the 20 kWh battery.
When the car launches in summer 2012, it will be available in one exclusive color, Reflection Blue Pearl. EV badges on the rear hatch and decals on the side of the vehicle distinguish the electric vehicle from its gasoline counterpart. The Honda Fit EV carries a familiar chrome front fascia that is similar to other Honda environmentally-responsible vehicles like the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle and Insight hybrid. The Fit EV is outfitted with distinct five-spoke alloy wheels and an aerodynamic rear spoiler.
In the passenger cabin, the seating surfaces are covered with bio-fabric. The Fit EV features illuminated meters that alert the driver to key vehicle functions including state of charge, battery usage and driving range. The meters change color depending on the driving mode selected (green, white or red). The Honda Fit EV features a spacious and functional cabin with comfortable seating for up to five passengers. For enhanced versatility, the Fit EV offers multiple seating and cargo-carrying configurations.
The Honda Fit EV is designed to meet the needs of an average urban commuter, offering an estimated driving range of 123-miles on a single charge using the US EPA city cycle test methods (Honda anticipates a combined city/highway EV range of 76 miles on the new Fuel Economy labels) 1. The Fit EV will be powered by a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 92 kilowatt coaxial electric motor. The high density electric motor, derived from the motor used in the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, delivers excellent efficiency and power while remaining quiet at high speeds.
Driving range of the Honda Fit EV can be maximized by using several innovative features, including a 3- mode electric drive system, adapted from the CR-Z Sport Hybrid. The system allows the driver to select between Econ, Normal and Sport to instantly and seamlessly change the driving experience to maximize efficiency or improve acceleration. While in Econ mode, practical driving range can increase by as much as 17-percent compared to driving in Normal mode. Acceleration improves significantly when in Sport mode, adding to the Honda Fit EV’s fun to drive nature.
In addition to the 3-mode driving system, the Honda Fit EV includes interactive coaching features designed to assist the driver in maximizing battery performance and driving range. The power meter alerts the driver to optimal driving conditions. Additional energy- saving features includes a highly efficient electric air conditioning system and new regenerative braking system.
The 6.6 kW, onboard 32 amp charger allows for convenient recharging of the Honda Fit EV. With a 240-volt charger, the Fit EV can fully recharge in as little as three hours. At launch timing, Honda will have a preferred Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) charging supplier.
To help the driver manage the electric vehicle ownership experience, the Honda Fit EV will have a standard telematics system that allows the driver to stay connected through a smartphone, personal computer or interactive remote. Through the Fit EV smartphone and computer applications, the driver can remotely view the vehicles state of charge, initiate charging and activate the air conditioning and heater, to pre-condition the vehicle while connected to the grid which maximizes battery range on start-up.
The mobile application and website also offers the ability to set charging notifications and alerts to optimize charging times based on varying utility rates and provides access to 24-hour roadside assistance. The Honda Fit EV will come equipped with a standard Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ that provides the ability to locate public charging stations and frequently updated traffic information.
The interactive remote allows the driver to monitor the vehicles state of charge and cabin temperature. Additionally, the driver can initiate and terminate charging and remotely turn on the air conditioning using the interactive remote. The interactive remote does not require an internet or mobile connection to operate however the driver must be within 100 feet (30 meters) of the vehicle.
American Honda will begin leasing the Honda Fit EV to customers in select California and Oregon markets in summer 2012, and will expand to six East Coast markets in early 2013. The Honda Fit EV’s Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $36,625 with an estimated lease priced at $399 a month. Honda will monitor market acceptance, but expects volume at this early stage of production to be approximately 1,100 Fit EV’s over the next three years.
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