The race to bring electric vehicles to market finally appears to be on, with Honda today showing a 92kW electric version of the Honda Fit (known as the Honda Jazz in some markets) and announcing plans for a summer 2012 launch in the U.S.
The 2013 Fit EV will have an MSRP of US$38,675 and a city range of 123 miles per charge (76 miles by the combined adjusted city/highway cycle) and will be available for lease to customers in select California and Oregon markets next summer, expanding to six East Coast markets in early 2013.
No details have yet been released on when the Fit EV will be available in Europe has yet to be confirmed. The Fit EV's MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) will be US$38,675 with an approximate monthly leasing cost of US$400.
The Fit EV uses a number of technologies already shown by Honda in other production and concept vehicles such as the high density 92 kilowatt coaxial electric motor from the FCX Clarity fuel cell EV and the three-mode electric drive system from the CR-Z Sport Hybrid (econ-normal-sport).
Obviously, the Econ mode will get the most range from the 20 kWh lithium-ion battery with Honda claiming energy usage decreases by as much as 17-percent compared to driving in Normal mode. Similarly, selecting sports mode will increase the performance but decrease the range. Extracting the most from the battery will be aided by an efficient electric aircon system and regenerative braking.
Putting the juice back in is also optimised for convenience with a 6.6 kW, onboard 32 amp charger allowing for a three hour charge at a 240-volt powerpoint. Honda says it will have a preferred Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment charging supplier prior to launch.
Fit EV drivers will also be able to stay close to their car via their smartphone, PC or the interactive remote control. Drivers will be able to monitor the state of charge, initiate charging monitor cabin temperature and activate the air conditioning or heater prior to using the vehicle.
The purpose-built mobile phone application (and PC and remote) will enable customers to set charging notifications and alerts so they can take advantages of off-peak electricity.