Electric Vehicle - Honda: A Fitting Leaf-Killer?

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It has taken some time for Honda to launch their electric vehicle, but with the Fit they do seem to have a Fitting answer to the rest of the competion (pun intended). The debut at the LA Auto Show announced a launch in summer 2012. For now it will only be available to the US market, unfortunately, but I think it looks really great. It even resembles the looks of a Nissan Leaf, the current most popular EV in the world. In the mobile phone industry many manufacturers compared their latest models to the iPhone, claiming they had the iPhone Killer. Is this Honda Fit the Leaf Killer they are hoping for? With a price of $399/month they seem to offer a good deal!

 

The Honda Fit at the LA Auto Show - Link

The technical specs

The Honda Fit comes with a battery of 20 kWh, but has an estimated range of about 195 km (123 miles). With a 92 kW motor for propulsion and 3 modes to drive it with (Econ, Normal, Sport) it has the potential to appeal to everybody. The Honda Fit comes with a 6.6 kW charger, which combined with the slightly smaller than average battery for an electric vehicle, makes for a quick recharge time. It can fully recharge in 3 hours! I wonder if it will be compatible with CHAdeMO to allow even quicker recharges.

The longer range makes me wonder how that is achieved, the car looks about the same size as a Nissan Leaf, has a smaller battery, but can achieve a longer range. The biggest impact would be from the aerodynamics, but I doubt the two cars will differ that much. That leaves basicly the weight of the car, but would the Honda Fit truly be that much lighter? It would do justice to its name though.

The Exterior

To me it looks a lot like a Nissan Leaf, it can seat 5, has a nice large trunk and they use the same blueish colour. I think Honda has chosen a similar approach as Nissan here and targets the same market, though a lot later. Nissan clearly has the first mover advantage here, but that is probably why Honda is going for a super-low price per month here. Compared to the lease on a Nissan Leaf here in the Netherlands you can save a few hundred a month by using this Honda Fit (and get a bigger range in the process). Be sure to check out the promotional video as well.

The verdict

It looks like a great car, the specs look intersting and the price looks great too. Can’t wait to see it myself and possibly take it for a spin… The only thing not to like is that it will not be available here in Europe and start in the US initially for some testing. With the potential it has to upset the market it is a shame this potential Leaf Killer will be limited to this extend and not reach more electric vehicle enthusiasts around the world.