Honda fit ev


2013 Honda Fit EV review

Looking to go green? Feel like flipping the gas station the bird every single time you drive on by? If you’re even remotely interested in buying an electric car, I’m convinced that now’s the time to pull the trigger after driving the production version of the 2013 Honda Fit EV. And with an ever-widening palette of EVs to consider, from fashionable Fiat 500es to pint-sized smart EDs, it’s not difficult to find an electric car that fits your needs.

So what flavor is Honda’s EV entry? Hint: it’s not vanilla.

Unlike Tesla’s Model S and the Nissan Leaf, the 2013 Fit EV is not a clean-sheet design built from the ground up and destined from birth to harbor only electrons. Instead, the Fit EV is a battery-powered version of Honda’s existing five-door Fit hatchback.

About a year ago, Honda invited me to test out a pre-production version of the Fit EV and while I walked away impressed, I lamented my lack of seat time with the car.

Needless to say, I was a wee bit excited when the powers that be told me I would be getting another crack at the Fit EV. Only, instead of an afternoon’s worth of driving time, I would get a whole week.

Pass Go and skip the pump

What’s the most excited thing about an electric car? Not having to buy gas, of course. The 2013 Honda Fit EV divorces the dino-drinking 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that lives in the standard Fit and scandalously runs off into the sunset with an electric motor. For all five of you trivia lovers out there, this is the same electric motor found in Honda’s FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle.

Each of three driving modes offer vastly different experiences… in such a way that makes you want to switch between them frequently.

A 20kWh, air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack made by Toshiba adds 700 pounds to the vehicle’s weight and powers the electric motor, which pumps out 123 hp at 3,695 rpm and 189 lb-ft of torque right from 0 rpm. Compared to the standard Fit, which belts out 117 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 106 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm from its 1.5-liter engine, the Fit EV has its gasoline-swilling cousin beat when it comes to out and out performance numbers, but it also pays a weight penalty.

Laying siege to the Fit EV’s “gas pedal” provides an FDA-approved helping of torque that’s enough to put a smile on even the most fervent electric car detractors’ face. In downtown environments like Portland, Oregon, where I did a good deal of driving, the Fit EV jabbed in and out of spaces with aplomb. At stop lights, for example, the Fit’s torquey goodness made light work of even the most menacing V6s by beating them off the line and allowing me to overtake and move into lanes with minimal fuss.

2013 Honda Fit EV Compared To

By nature of their prodigious on-demand torque, electric cars are pretty spry and are able to quickly scramble and scamper around low-speed environments. The 2013 Fit EV is no different. And while It’s adept at tackling city and suburban driving, don’t mistake being quick with being fast. The car can accelerate from 0-60 mph in about nine seconds, but like virtually all other EVs, its top speed is limited. The Fit EV maxes out at 90 mph.

Of course, 90 mph is plenty fast for a car that will rarely need to reach such speeds, not to mention that faster speeds rapidly diminish battery juice.

At full charge, the Fit displays a range of 94 miles (here, I Instagrammed it), but in reality it’s more like 75 to 82 miles. EPA figures give it a 118 MPGe rating.

Of course, those numbers depend largely on how heavy your foot is, whether you have climate control blasting, where you’re driving (freeway driving sucks down the juice with more zeal than city driving), and what mode you’re in.

EVs are at their best when left to roam around a densely populated metropolis, but the Fit EV is confident enough to venture farther out of the city, albeit at the expense of a slightly more exhausted battery pack.

Fit for fun

To help mitigate battery loss and add some variation to the car’s performance, Honda outfitted the Fit EV with a 3-Mode Drive System (Sport, Normal, and Econ) adapted from the CR-Z Sport Hybrid.

Engaging Sport mode increases throttle response by upping the amount of electric power fed to the motor during acceleration. In Normal mode, power is limited to 75 kW, while Sport mode ups the ante to 92 kW of power. Nevertheless, an increase in power results in reduced range, which suffers a 10 percent drop when in Sport mode. Sport mode also adds some visual drama by turning the ambient color lighting in the instrument cluster from white or green (if in Normal or Econ mode, respectively) to a racy red.

B mode is a curious beast because it actually makes the Fit EV feel like a manual; and it’s perfect for controlling your speed down a hill.

Econ mode is the polar opposite to Sport (surprise!). Here, only 47 kW of electrical power is available during acceleration. But beyond just being a simple numerical figure, it’s easy to feel difference. Econ mode polices the climate control system more heavily and reduces fan speed, while pressing down on the pedal is met with a great deal of derision. So forget about tackling hills with Econ mode activated unless you want to embarrass yourself and smash down on the accelerator needlessly. The experience is akin to working up the courage to asking that hot girl/guy out at the bar, only to be laughed at and promptly shooed away. It’s slightly traumatic to say the least.

Of course Normal mode serves as the bridge between the two, but despite being the “middle way,” I actually gravitated to Econ mode more often than not. Sport Mode is great for circumstances that demand it – freeway merging and uphill driving spring to mind – but it sucks battery juice with more verve than Bela Lugosi in a vampire flick. It’s also pretty depressing to see your range meter drop from 95 miles to 75 miles the second you hit the Sport button.

While Normal mode might be the default drive setting, I recommend going Econ to maximize range whenever you can. Unless you live in an area with a lot of hills, Econ mode works well in and around the city and after a while I didn’t even notice the diminished power output. I’d even go so far as to recommend keeping the Fit EV in Econ while driving on the freeway most of the time and switching over to normal if and when you need an extra dose of power to pass or climb a hill.

Each of three driving modes offers vastly different experiences and Honda deserves a lot of credit for engineering each in such a way that you actually want to switch between them frequently. Unfortunately, I never got used to the placement of the mode buttons, which live awkwardly behind and to the left of the steering wheel. Here’s hoping this gets sorted out and Honda moves the buttons to a much more comfortable position if and when the Fit EV is due for an update.

Other than the poor button placement for the different drive modes, it’s easy to monitor performance and battery levels in the Fit EV. The center cluster, which displays battery level and current speed, is flanked by a gauge on the right that shows your current battery level, and another on the left that shows current power and battery regeneration. Mashing on the pedal causes the needle to move upward, indicating that power is being siphoned out of the battery, while using the brakes shows that electrons are trickling back in.

A majority of the battery pack’s energy renewal is accomplished through the use of a regenerative braking system that captures energy whenever the brake pedal is pressed, turning the electric motor into a glorified generator.

On top of the regenerative braking system, the Fit EV employs a variable energy regenerative system that limits the need for drivers to physically step on the brake. By simply easing off the accelerator, the system kicks in and naturally slows the down the car, much like a regular car with an automatic transmission.

Honda has also added a “B” (Brake) mode that greatly enhances regenerative braking. And when I say greatly enhances regenerative braking, I mean it. With B mode selected, it’s possible to come to a complete stop without ever touching the brakes. The system is so strong that letting off of the accelerator on flat surfaces caused me to stop way ahead of my mark. With more practice, I imagine gauging the appropriate distance needed wouldn’t be too difficult, but newcomers will undergo a slight learning curve at first.

B mode is a curious beast because it actually makes the Fit EV feel like a manual and it’s perfect for controlling your speed down a hill.

But more than just fancy bells and whistles, the Fit EV is just good ol’ fashioned fun to drive. It’s surprisingly lively in Normal and Sport modes, and despite the added weight of the battery pack and slightly numb electro-mechanical power steering, the combination of low-slung mass and hard-working independent rear suspension make it a blast to drive, especially in the twisties. It blows away the Nissan Leaf and is right up there with the excellent Fiat 500e in terms of handling.

Smart charging

No matter how efficiently you drive the Fit, you’re going to have to charge it at some point. According to Honda, fully recharging the car’s battery will take less than 15 hours using a 120-volt AC power supply, also known as “plugging it in to a wall outlet.” However, the charging process can take as little as three hours on a 240-volt level 2 charger, which uses the same power supply connections as an electric dryer or other large household appliances.

At full charge, the Fit displays a range of 94 miles… but in reality it’s more like 75 to 82 miles.

For reference, the Nissan Leaf takes about seven hours to charge using a 240-volt Level 2 charger, nearly double the time it takes to fully charge the Fit EV. However, the Leaf still has a slight edge over the Fit, as Nissan has thrown its full support behind “CHΛdeMO” DC quick-charging, meaning the Leaf’s battery pack can achieve an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes The Fit EV does not support DC fast charging, and it doesn’t look like that is going to change any time soon.

Making the minutia of EV driving easier is the Honda Link EV smartphone app for iOS and Android, which lets you to take care of a number of tasks remotely such as scheduling charging and turning on climate controls before you get in the car. The app displays the current state of charge and even has a built-in charging station locator. The Fit EV also comes with an Empire State Building-sized key fob that allowed me to start up climate controls and initiate charging up to 100 feet away.

An app might not seem like a big deal at first, but when you have to rely on charging stations that are across town or even parked outside your office during the day, it’s really helpful being able to monitor all that from the comfort of your phone. All I had to do was launch the app, refresh the screen, and my current charge level, along with an ETA for when charging would be completed, was right there.

Interior indifference

Navigation comes standard in the Fit EV and while it provides a number of useful EV-centric features like points of (charging) interests that differentiate between 120 and 240 volt chargers, it’s nothing new or special to the Fit EV, where it looks clunky and dated compared to the high tech profile of the car.

Other standard features include a rearview camera, CD player, iPod/USB interface, and a six-speaker stereo system that performs decently enough but – much like the navigation system – is nothing worth writing home about.

For all the cool tech under the hood, the 2013 Honda Fit EVs’ interior is pretty stale. In keeping with the car’s “green” mantra, the seats are comprised of a bio-fabric called Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) made from a sugar-cane sourced ethanol, which feels decent to the touch – if not a bit slippery. Though, it’s odd to see such an eco-conscious material mixed with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. However, material quality for the dash felt and looked a little cheap. Granted this is no Tesla, but the Fit’s interior could be a lot sharper.

Aesthetics aside, Honda has at least made clever use of the space inside the cabin. What appear to be cup holders flank each side of the front section, although they could just as easily cradle any number of smaller smartphones. A little cubby cut-out above the glove box is also pretty handy for holding keys or other small items.

A driver’s side armrest can be pulled down for added comfort, although given its narrow width it felt geared towards the Japanese market. I found my elbow slipping off from time to time and for broader drivers (like me) this can and does get annoying.

Despite its small stature, though, the Fit EV is surprisingly spacious. Honda has reconfigured the interior to accommodate the Fit EV’s battery pack. Second row passengers sit 3.3-inches farther back and slightly elevated, allowing for more rear legroom and providing a sort of stadium seating affect.

Sadly, the all-electric setup causes cargo space to suffer. While a standard fit nets about 20.6 cubic feet, the Fit EV affords only 12.0. A 60/40-split rear seat folds down and causes cargo space to balloon to 50 cubic feet but you do lose one or two seats.

The devil is in the details

There isn’t much that separates the look of a standard Fit from the Fit EV apart from a few subtle design tweaks, with the most notable difference being the electric Fit’s revised front end. Here, a new chromed-out front bumper sweeps across the front of the car. Honda also included a newly designed strake beneath the front fascia that diverts air outwards, while added inlets help shoot air to the radiator in order to cool the electric motor.

But if the copious amounts of EV badging and the lack of a tailpipe don’t alert you right away, the easiest way to spot a Fit EV in the wild is merely by its paint job. The Fit EV only comes in one color: Reflective Blue Pearl.

Overall, the Fit benefits a lot from its EV makeover, with the little tweaks appeasing the eye more so than it’s gasoline counterpart.

Conclusion

The Honda Fit is already a very capable car and the Fit EV is made infinitely better by its electron-powered makeover. In addition to being incredibly efficient, it’s just plain fun to drive, and drivers will surely get a thrill shuffling through the various drive modes on a daily basis. I sure did.

… the Fit EV is made infinitely better by its electron-powered makeover.

Some interior hiccups sully the experience a little, but not so much that it would cause you to think twice about leasing one.

But that lease is the problem. For as competent and silky smooth as the Fit EV is, the car isn’t widely available – at least not yet. While MSRP for the 2013 Fit EV stands at $36,625, Honda is currently only leasing the car in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Rhode Island.

Granted, the lease deal is a pretty attractive one: A 36 month lease at $259 a month with $259 due at singing, unlimited mileage, scheduled maintenance, collision coverage, and a free 240 volt charger (to clarify: the charger itself is free but you have to pay for installation). But potential customers will surely be concerned with what happens after 36 months.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a state that offers them and you don’t mind leasing and not owning the car outright, the 2013 Fit EV is some of the most fun you’ll have in an all-electric – even if that fun is seemingly on borrowed time.

Highs

  • EV range is admirable
  • Honda EV App makes managing everyday EV charging a breeze
  • Spacious backseat with excellent visibility facing forward
  • Various driving modes offer diversity and fun to the entire experience

Lows

  • Limited Availability
  • Lease-only option
  • Interior quality is a little bland

www.digitaltrends.com

2013 Honda Fit EV Review: Car Reviews

It’s been over a year since high-profile electric vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, and Mitsubishi i went on sale. But now Honda is ready to throw the Fit EV into the mix to show that electric cars can be economical and green, but also fun.

FAST FACTS

1. The Fit EV gets a 118 MPGe combined rating, the highest of any electric car.

2. Available in select markets on a $389-three year lease, with not purchase option at end.

3. Special key-remote and iPhone App allows for charge management.

4. Borrowed from Honda’s CR-Z are three driving modes to provide a range of driving options, from performance to the longest driving range.

Honda claims that the new Fit is not only more enjoyable to drive than its counterparts, but is also more efficient and can also go farther on a single charge. Plus, a full charge takes just three hours or less.

With the big promises having been made, we traveled to Pasadena, California, one of the cities the Fit EV will launch in later in July, to run the sub-compact electric car through its paces.

BY THE NUMBERS

California and Oregon will be the first markets that will be receiving the Honda Fit EV, with six other east-coast markets scheduled for next year. Interested parties will be able to get this electric go-getter for $389 a month, over three years, which would roughly mean the Fit EV carries a MSRP somewhere in the area of $36,625, close to the price of a Nissan Leaf.

While it might just sound like an expensive subcompact, there is plenty here that makes up the price of the EV variant. First, its 118 MPGe combined rating is the best electric car rating given from the EPA, with 132 MPGe city and 105 MPGe highway.

The Fit EV also gets a range of 82 miles per charge, another top of class grade. Finally, to make the trifecta complete, it boasts the fastest charging time at around three hours.

Alone, those three elements should easily sell the Fit EV to 1,100 customers per year. Then there’s the fun factor.

SHOCKING POWER

 

The Honda Fit EV’s electric motor is closely related to the one found in the heavier hydrogen powered FCX Clarity. In the Fit, it makes 123-hp and a whopping 189 lb-ft of torque. That’s a lot of grunt for the subcompact.

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Put your foot to the floor and you can easily make the low-rolling resistance tires screech. In a straight line or a corner the Fit EV flies around with ease and it’s easy to forget you’re driving an eco-friendly electric vehicle that’s designed to go farther on a full charge than any other.

How did Honda make an EV that’s both fun and frugal? They started with three buttons to the left of the steering wheel labeled “Sport” “Normal and “Econ.” Tested on a small autocross course and on the street, Sport mode gives all 123 horsepower and 189 lb-ft of torque to the driver, but hinders the car’s range. In Econ mode, the car only has a fraction of the electric motor’s full power. It’s great for slow urban traffic, and taking off in the Econ mode has almost a luxurious whoosh to it. Splitting the two is the Normal mode. It doesn’t have full power like Sport mode, but it’s not overly limited either, essentially a fair compromise for every-day driving.

Special handling tweaks help make the car feel sporty as well. Since the batteries reside under the seats the Fit has a lower center of gravity, which reduces body roll. Additionally, Honda did away with the H-shaped torsion beam in the rear and gave it an independent multi-link suspension, a first for the Honda Fit.

Driving the Fit EV is an example in what a no-compromise electric vehicle should be. It certainly doesn’t feel as heavy as its 3,252 lb curb weight indicates. On the road it’s confident in just about every situation, smooth in Econ and Normal modes and excellently responsive in Sport mode.

It’s more engaging than the Nissan Leaf (itself already peppy), feeling light on its feet and genuinely fun to drive. While at its limit the car does exhibit some understeer, it never feels out of control.

KEY TO MANAGE CHARGE

 

Fun to drive, it’s also easier to own thanks to the fastest 240-volt charge time of any of its rivals. At just three hours for a full charge it bests the new Ford Focus Electric.

The Fit’s accomplishes this with a unique 6.6kW built-in charger, which plugs into any 120, or 240 volt AC power supply. Without the quick-charger, the Fit takes almost 15 hours to fully.

Helping drivers manage the charge, The Fit has a special key-fob with a 100-foot range. It shows the charge of the vehicle, and allows remote start and stop of the car’s charger, and climate control. An iPhone app is also available which does the same thing, as well as schedule charging to get the best peak rates.

BIG CHANGE IN LITTLE FIT

 

One of the most undervalued and overlooked parts of the Fit EV is certain to be its interior. Compared to the gasoline Fit, and other Honda vehicles, the EV boasts a wonderful cockpit, covered in unique materials with a clean layout.

The interior is made up entirely of bio-friendly materials, which shows that Honda wasn’t just making an electric car out of recycled parts, but is following a theme of environmental responsibility; something owners of electric cars will appreciate.

Additionally, the car’s center-console receives a slight reworking from the gasoline powered Fit. First of all, all Fit EVs get a touch-screen navigation system, which has a few tweaks including a button to help you find the nearest quick-charge station. The screen also displays the back-up camera when reversing, another feature all Fit EV’s will get.

Additionally, the big ugly climate control knobs found in the regular Fit have been replaced with much more attractive buttons in the EV.

The dash also receives a slight change. Depending on which driving mode you select, the gauges will change color, appearing red when in sport mode to remind you of the lower range. When in Normal and Econ, the gauges glow green and will change depending on how economical you’re driving.

UNIQUE LOOK AND COLOR

 

While the Fit EV might look a lot like its gasoline sibling, there are a few details to help tell the two apart. First, the grill has been removed and a more aerodynamic spoiler has been added to the rear while all models come in an exclusive Reflection Blue pearl paint job.

THE VERDICT

 

Honda’s strategy is to provide an alternative fuel vehicle for every corner of the market. The Fit EV rounds out the range of hybrid and natural gas vehicles, not to mention Honda’s hydrogen car. The upcoming plug-in hybrid Accord will be the company’s next step.    

Learning from its sporty CR-Z and economical Insight hybrid, and adding some spice from the FCX’s electric motor, the Fit EV is perhaps the very best no-compromise electric vehicle. It’s fun to drive, and goes further on each charge, breaking a barrier that past electric vehicles had stopped at.

One step closer to being a car that works for the majority drivers, and infused with Honda’s fun-to-drive ethos, the Fit EV is an appealing product for more than just the ‘save the planet’ types. With the still-obvious range and charge time drawbacks of electric cars, this Fit’s largest flaw is Honda’s short-term plan for the car and its limited availability.

LOVE IT
  • Fun to Drive
  • Looks great
  • Fewer compromises than ever before
LEAVE IT
  • Lease only
  • Limited to 1,100 units
  • Three-hour charge time, still long

www.autoguide.com

Honda Fit EV | PluginCars.com

When Honda announced that it planned to produce the Fit EV, it was the most important story of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Honda announced that it made its first delivery of the Fit EV to a couple in Woodland Hills, Calif. on July 20, 2012. Longtime Honda customers Matt and Becky Walton received their Fit after being first to sign up for the car on Honda's registration website (no celebrity preference here), saying they plan to use it as their main everyday commuter vehicle.

The small but spacious Honda Fit made an ideal urban electric car—and produced critical raves and a lot of happy drivers. Nonetheless, Honda never intended the car to be anything more than a test platform and a means to comply with California's zero emission vehicle mandates.

The target production number was 1,100 units. Twenty Months after the Waltons received their Fit EV, Honda announced that it had reached its production quota, and that production would end earlier than anticipated. (The company had anticipated a two-year run of all-electric Fits.) The cute compact got off to a slow start, but when its lease price—it was only ever available as a lease—was dropped to a reasonable $259 a month (from its previous offer of $389 a month), sales picked up. This pushed the pace of production and sales to the quicker time frame.

In late February 2014, Honda made this announcement, reflecting more than a little consumer interest, through its EV sales division:

Thank you for your email and your interest in the Fit EV. Honda dealers received a significant increase in customer interest in the Fit EV when we announced the updated lease program in June [2013]. As a result, many dealers are maintaining lists of customers who want to lease the Fit EV. Most are reporting that their list is quite long.

Honda introduced the Fit EV with an announced volume of 1,100 units over two model years. The 2014 model year will end early this fall, marking the end of production of the Fit EV. Honda will continue to produce and distribute to authorized Fit EV dealers about 40 Fit EVs per month until that time. While I understand your request for clarity about the timing and/or likelihood of leasing the Fit EV, it depends on a variety of factors such as customer ability or desire to wait for the car that are beyond our ability to predict. Honda's experience with wait lists is that they eventually subside, though this appears to not be the case for the Fit EV.

Thank you again for your interest in the Honda Fit EV.

Minor Footnote

As the electric car movement gains momentum, and marches toward one million battery-powered cars on US roads later this decade, the Honda Fit EV will be relegated to a minor footnote in electric car history.

The car utilized the same 5-passenger layout found in the popular Fit hatchback. Primarily, it was its utilitarian platform that distinguished the Fit from the competition. But in terms of EV specifications, there wasn't much about the car that was unique. It was capable of about 70 to 80 miles on a charge, and delivered a top speed of 90 mph.

If anything special will be remembered about the Fit EV, it's the car’s ability to offer drivers different modes. Normal mode felt a lot like daily driving in the Nissan LEAF. Very normal. It was a good middle ground between decent range and a nice brisk ride. Then, there was Eco mode. If you know that you’ll need every electron to make it to your destination, then Eco mode could extend range and back down on acceleration—an acceptable compromise for getting safely from Point A to Point B.

But punch the Sport mode button, which gives the dash a red hue, and the Fit EV came to life. When in Sport mode, any shortcoming of the Fit EV's economy feel, such as thin seat cushions and plastic interior details, is immediately forgotten. If you know that you only need 40 or 50 miles of driving for the day, then why not have some fun? The Fit EV, in Sport is an absolute blast to drive (maybe even dangerous when it comes to speeding tickets).

Another innovation was the key fob-thingy, on the same keychain with the regular key that you turn to start the car. Push a little power button on the side of the remote unit, and presto—it shows you battery state of charge. There are apps and websites that will do this for other EV, but the convenience of having it right in your hand before you leave the house, or while sitting at your desk, is fantastic. The fob also allows you to engage climate control or start charging—but it’s the SOC meter display was the most appreciated.

The last production units will continue to be delivered to customers on waiting lists throughout spring and summer 2014. The Honda Fit EV will then remain on the road for the duration of the lease periods contracted by its drivers. Then, unfortunately, like other electric cars that were offered for lease—but not for sale— the Fit EV will likely vanish from US roadways. Honda is apparently now putting its effort on conventional and plug-in hybrids, as well as fuel-cell electric cars, so it's hard to say if its research and production regarding pure battery-powered electric cars will bring about any future EVs.

www.plugincars.com

2014 Honda Fit EV - Buyers Guide

The competent 2014 Honda Fit EV has a lot of things going for it. Unfortunately, widespread availability to the public is not one of them, as Honda offers the all-electric version of its useful hatchback in only a few states and only as a three-year lease.

Pros

Excellent range for an EV; spacious backseat; plenty of cargo capacity with the rear seats folded; excellent visibility.

Cons

Subpar braking performance; lease-only buying; limited availability.

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Honda Fit EV is unchanged this year.

Introduction

The 2014 Honda Fit EV takes the nimble, utility-rich attributes of the regular Fit and replaces its gasoline engine with a strong, silent electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries that returns a fuel economy equivalent of 118 mpg. If the limitations of driving range aren't a concern for you and an electric vehicle would meet your needs as a secondary car, the Fit EV is one of the better choices.

Overall efficiency is quite good with a miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) of 118, and the all-important driving range is pegged at an optimal 82 miles on a full charge. These figures are at least nominally better than those of several competing models like the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan's Leaf. The Fit EV recharges a little quicker, too, in about three hours provided you have access to a 240-volt circuit (the same as used by an electric clothes dryer). Plus, with its Sport mode engaged, Honda's EV is quicker than both its electric competition and conventionally powered subcompacts.

The 2014 Fit EV doesn't look much different from its gas-powered counterpart, but there's some modification required for the switch from a gasoline engine to an electric motor. First and foremost, the regular Fit's rear "Magic Seat" is considerably less magical. The seats still fold, but no longer flat, and the seat bottom does not rise up. Nevertheless, this hatchback remains commendably versatile and more useful than most competitors.

Unfortunately, potential customers in 42 states will be disappointed by one of this car's most glaring drawbacks: It's only available  in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island. Plus, it's not for sale, but only available as a lease (although the monthly payment is quite reasonable). If those parameters remove the Fit EV from your shopping list, you'll still be left with several other worthwhile choices.

The 2014 Nissan Leaf is the only example not based on a conventionally powered model and as such satisfies that frequent EV requirement to stick out in a crowd. There's also the stylish and well-packaged 2014 Ford Focus Electric as well as the smaller but fun-to-drive 2014 Fiat 500e. You'll find slight differences in driving range and utility with all these models, but the 2014 Honda Fit is an excellent choice thanks to its combination of a highly functional interior, strong acceleration, sufficient driving range and agreeable driving manners.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Honda Fit EV is available in a single heavily equipped, no-options trim level.

The car's exhaustive list of standard features includes 15-inch alloy wheels, three driver-selectable power modes for the electric-drive system, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, automatic climate control, heated front seats, cruise control and a 60/40-split backseat. Standard electronic features include Bluetooth phone connectivity, voice controls, a navigation system, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Safety

The 2014 Honda Fit EV comes standard with antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), stability and traction control, a rearview camera, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active head restraints.

In Edmunds panic-stop brake testing, the Fit EV required 140 feet to stop from 60 mph. That's 14 feet longer than the Leaf's best braking distance and about 20 feet longer than the average subcompact car.

Interior Design and Special Features

Honda had to reconfigure the Fit's interior a bit to accommodate the EV model's battery pack. Rear passengers sit slightly higher and 3.3 inches farther back, which actually improves rear legroom. Cargo space suffers, though, as you get just 12.0 cubic feet behind the backseat versus the standard Fit's 20.6 cubic feet. In addition, the regular Honda Fit's "Magic Seat" (which can fold flat or upright) didn't survive the transition. The 60/40-split rear seat still folds, opening up nearly 50 cubic feet (versus 57.3 in the standard hatch), but the load floor is no longer flat.

The Fit EV otherwise carries over the basic interior design and layout of its conventionally powered counterpart. That's a good thing: There are simple, sizable gauges directly ahead, augmented by EV-unique information related to battery depletion and remaining range. The standard navigation system also has a special screen to show the nearest public recharging sites, while an enhanced key fob can initiate charging, monitor progress and even turn on the air-conditioning from 100 feet away. The available Honda Link EV smartphone app can do all that as well, plus help you locate charging stations and set charging times that optimize utility rates.

The Fit EV further stands out with a unique light gray color scheme and special renewably sourced upholstery made from sugar cane. The material looks fine but feels slightly waxy, and it seems to retain body heat more than most common automotive seat cloth. Standard heated front seats are a nice perk.

Driving Impressions

If you want to squeeze the most driving distance out of the 2014 Fit EV, select the drive system's Econ mode, which restrains the electric motor to 63 of its available 123 hp. Acceleration is pretty tepid, however, and the air-conditioning also is pared back to save energy.

That's probably fine for sitting in traffic, but Normal or Sport modes are better suited to most other driving environments. Despite its hardly breathtaking outright numbers, acceleration is actually oddly satisfying thanks to the electric motor's instantaneous delivery of full torque with an almost complete lack of noise.

The extra 700 pounds worth of batteries dull the regular Fit's nimble feel, but as a trade-off makes the Fit EV feel more stable and secure, with an improved ride that's almost luxury-car plush. The small, efficiency-optimizing tires can feel a little squirrely when wet, though, and will squawk if you try to take corners with a little too much zest.

autoweek.com

2013 Honda Fit EV Specifications, Pictures, Prices

The Fit EV is an all-electric version of Honda's subcompact five-door Fit model. Representing Honda's first effort at a North American-market EV, the electric-powered Fit boasts an EPA-rated combined driving range of 82 miles, giving it one of the most extensive ranges of any EV.

The Fit EV ditches the gas-fed 1.5-liter four-cylinder of the normal Fit for a 92 kilowatt coaxial electric motor derived from the powerplant used in the automaker's FCX Clarity fuel cell EV. Energy comes from a 20 kWh air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack mounted under the floor of the car.

Three drive modes, Econ, Normal and Sport, tailor the Fit EV's powertrain to fit a driver's intended style. Honda is most proud of Econ, which the automaker says can add as much as 17 miles to the car's range when engaged. To charge the Fit EV, Honda says a 240-volt setup can replenish the battery in just three hours.

In addition to the aforementioned class-leading range, the Fit EV also possesses the second highest mpg equivalent rating that the EPA has ever awarded to an EV: 118 MPGe.

Looking the part Fit EV generally mirrors its standard sibling, although its hip point is raised slightly to accommodate the battery. One color, Reflection Blue Pearl, will be available. Front and rear fascias are revised to aid aerodynamics, as are unique alloy wheels. Inside, bio-fabric is friendlier to the environment than standard cloth.

To help drivers keep tabs on the propulsion system, the Fit EV features illuminated meters for the battery's state of charge and driving range. An upgraded on-board telematics system teams up with a standard navigation system to let drivers alter charging even if they aren't in the same location as the vehicle thanks to a mobile application and a website. Drivers can even set the Fit EV's heater to turn on to pre-warm the car.

It Is Easy Being Green Contrary to what Kermit might say, selecting an electric-powered Fit over its conventional counterpart requires relatively few sacrifices. The battery pack's placement under the car results in a three-inch higher floor, which decreases cargo space behind the rear seats from 20.6 to 12 cubic feet - fold down the rear seats, though and there's an impressive 49.4 cubes available. Furthermore, the extra weight of the batteries does relatively little to dilute the Fit's nimble, fun-to-drive handling dynamics.

One casualty of the electrification process is the "Magic Seat" system, which allows the rear seat bottom to flip forward in the normal Fit. The rear seatbacks can still fold flat, however, so the Fit EV retains a decent amount of cargo versatility to compliment its ability to seat five occupants in comfort.

Standard Features The Fit EV comes handsomely equipped with a standard navigation system with a 6.5-inch display screen and FM Traffic, a 160-watt, six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with AUX and USB inputs, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, full power accessories, automatic climate control and 15-inch alloy wheels.

Occupant Safety All Fit EV models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and electronic brakeforce distribution.

Key Competitors The Fit EV faces competition from full-electric vehicles like the established Nissan Leaf and the up-and-coming Ford Focus Electric, while the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt is also likely to get cross-shopped by those looking for the practicality of a longer range.

Key Competitors The Fit EV faces competition from full-electric vehicles like the established Nissan Leaf and the up-and-coming Ford Focus Electric, while the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt is also likely to get cross-shopped by those looking for the practicality of a longer range.

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2013 Honda Fit EV

Ограниченные продажи означают ограниченный обзор – это очень плохо.

Месяц назад мы увидели дебют Honda Fit EV на автомобильной выставке в Лос-Анджелесе. У нас был шанс сесть за руль модели Honda во время предварительного мероприятия в Twin Ring Motegi, Токио, хотя и с очень ограниченными возможностями.

Что касается особенностей Fit, то ее электродвигатель основан на том, что установлен на модели Honda FCX Clarity EV на топливных элементах и производит 123 л. с. и 256 Нм крутящего момента. Двигатель запитан от пакета литий-ионных аккумуляторов мощностью 20 кВт-ч с воздушным охлаждением, созданным компанией Toshiba. Диапазон на не отрегулированном, но очень оптимистичном LA4 составляет 198 км, но окончательный диапазон, который будет указан на ценнике, должен быть ближе к 122 км. Это основано на показателях потребления в 29 кВт-ч за 160 км. К примеру, Nissan Leaf использует немного больше энергии – 34 кВт-ч на 160 км.    Аккумулятор установлен под автомобилем. Это решение привело к поднятию пола на 7,6 см выше, чем на обычной модели, но в результате поднятия пола мы не замечали уменьшенное расстояние от подушки сидений до потолка. «Волшебная» уловка, которой обладали сиденья, посредством чего нижняя часть сиденья выдвигалась вперед, также потеряна из-за электрификации, хотя задние спинки сиденья все еще будут в состоянии складываться в различных конфигурациях для увеличения полезного пространства.

Другие внутренние модификации более примечательны, в том числе пересмотренная комбинация приборов. В электромобиле в самой правой части размещен большой датчик емкости батареи и два датчика, которые указывают дополнительную информацию: один для системы HVAC и один для всего остального. В середине цифровой спидометр с меньшим цифровым индикатором дистанции внизу. Еще ниже этого расположен знакомый многофункциональный дисплей Honda. Левая часть показывает мгновенный энергетический поток, используете ли вы электроэнергию или перезаряжаетесь. У Fit EV есть три режима движения: экономичный, нормальный и спортивный. В спортивном режиме электродвигатель автомобиля выпускает больше своей ярости и доступность этого «гнева» показана в комбинации приборов в виде силометра.

Как было упомянуто, наш предварительный тест-драйв был коротким, всего несколько километров вокруг Twin Ring Motegi. Но, несмотря, на наш ограниченный заезд Fit EV, тем не менее, показал потенциал. В конце концов, оригинальный автомобиль стал многократным победителем премии 10-ти лучших автомобилей. Версия EV главным образом чувствует себя подобно стандартной Fit, хотя тяжелый аккумулятор (Honda не сказала нам точно, сколько он весит) передает небольшие колебания рулевому управлению. Как и в Leaf управление испытывает недостаток в чувствительности, но настройки Fit имеют вдобавок и более лучший вес, что улучшает точность. Мы не достигли предельной скорости в 145 км/ч, но двигатель продолжает поставлять сильную тягу даже при более высоких скоростях по сравнению с электромобилями, такими как Leaf, у которых имеется тенденция ослабевать. Нормальный и экономический режимы, по существу, являются одним и тем же. Последний просто приглушает чувствительность акселератора. Спортивный режим предлагает самую агрессивную настройку педали, а дополнительная мощность наиболее примечательна.

Как уже было объявлено, производство Fit EV будет ограничено 1100 автомобилями, доступными только для избранных американских рынков. Все будут сдаваться в аренду, начиная со следующего лета. Это позор, потому что эта модель Fit достаточно хороша, чтобы удовлетворить более многочисленную аудиторию.

Технические характеристики.

Тип автомобиля: передний двигатель, передний привод, 5-дверный фургон.

Тип двигателя: постоянный магнит AC и синхронный электродвигатель, 134 л. с., 256 Нм, пакет литий-ионного аккумулятора мощностью 20 кВт-ч.

Трансмиссия: прямая с 1 скоростью.

Рамеры:Колёсная база: 2499 ммДлина: 4107 ммШирина: 1694 ммВысота: 1524 мм

Дистанция:122 км.

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