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Honda delivers first electric Fit

Consumer Reports News: January 23, 2012 12:53 PM

The electric-car movement is gaining momentum, with both BMW and Honda charging ahead toward putting their electron-powered vehicles on the street. To that end,
Honda delivered a Fit EV to Torrance, California, on Friday. Home to Honda’s North American headquarters, the city is playing a key role in gaining real-world data from Fit EV drivers.

Over the past year, Honda has worked with Torrance to identify local charge locations and gain feedback from residents about related issues. Honda will also work with Google and Stanford University to gain further driver feedback.

This electric version of the Honda Fit is powered by a 20-kWh lithium-ion battery and coaxial electric motor derived from the FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle. Honda claims the Fit EV has a 123-mile maximum driving range, or a 76-mile range in combined city and highway use.

2013-Honda-Fit-EV-delivered-Torrance.jpgEfficiency is aided by a user-controlled, three-mode system like that used in the Honda CR-Z hybrid. Drivers can select Economy, Normal, or Sport to bolster efficiency or performance. Honda says the differences are an increase of 17 percent in driving range with the Economy mode over the Normal mode and 25 percent better than Sport mode. In Sport mode, the performance is adjusted for improved acceleration.

To help further conserve energy, a dashboard display can help the driver determine when to shut off accessories such as the air conditioning or radio to save electricity. Drivers will also be able to connect via a smart phone or computer to manage the vehicle’s energy use, though hopefully not when behind the wheel. A pocket remote also allows connectivity to the vehicle. With these tools, drivers will be able to check charge, start a charge, or activate air conditioning, as well as provide charging alerts to help with utility rates, a 24-hour roadside assistance, and a charging station locator.

The battery can be charged in 12 hours when using 120-volt outlet and around six hours with a 240-volt outlet.

The Fit EV will be available to consumers in California and Oregon this summer.

Jeff Bartlett

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