The Los Angeles auto show a month back saw the unveiling of the 2013 edition of the Honda Fit EV. The vehicle was recently test driven in a pre-show event organized prior to the Tokyo motor show, at a nearby racing facility.
The same motor that had been installed in the Honda FCX Clarity has also been provided to the 2013 Honda Fit EV. Maximum power of 123Hp is generated by the motor with a peak torque of 189 lb-ft. The air-cooled battery pack of lithium-ion provided to the motor of the Honda Fit is capable of generating 20Kwh. It is expected that on full charge, the battery will last good to traverse a distance of 76 miles. This has been derived on the basis of consumption figures that generally use 29Kwh every 100 miles.
With the battery pack being mounted beneath the car, the floor of the vehicle is higher by 3-inch than conventionally operated models. However, the cathedral ceiling that has been provided to the Honda Fit does not make you notice this reduction in headroom. Another feature that gets lost due to switching to the electric model is the Magic Seat, which allows seat bottom to flip forward on its own. The rear back seats can still be folded flat hence allowing other configurations to increase the utility of the vehicle.
Other changes made to the interiors that get readily noticed include revision of the instrument cluster. A big gauge informing about the battery capacity has been provided at the extreme right pod. Two gadgets have been provided for indicating accessory drawn including a HVAC system as well as a second one that is marked ‘others’ covers all other things. The digital speedometer has been provided right at the center along with one smaller in size digital indicator. Below all these is an indicator common to Honda vehicles that highlight malfunctioning of the car. The left hand side pod displays the energy that is flowing at that very instant in both conditions of power being used or the vehicle being recharged. Three different driving modes have been provided to the 2013 Honda Fit EV – they are the econ, normal and the sport modes. The electric motor is at its greatest fury in the sport mode and this gets reflected in the car’s instrument cluster with the power meter displaying a long band.
Though the test drive had been restricted to just a few miles across a racing track, it was enough to make the judgment that the 2013 Honda Fit EV does have some solid potential. It definitely lives up to the expectations that had been generated from it after having won numerous awards. In most aspects, the EV variant gives the same feeling as the standard Honda Fit. However, the heavy weight battery pack that it has been provided with, does make the car wobble a trifle during handling. Similar to the Leaf, we find that its steering wheel lacks feeling but with the set up of the Fit enable more weight to be put on it, the steering has impressive accuracy. Though the vehicle was not driven at its peak speed of 90mph, it was experienced that the motor has strong pulling capacity even when operated at high speeds. This is the aspect that makes the Honda Fit score over other vehicles in its EV variant. Both the econ and normal driving modes are essentially similar with the former bringing down the accelerator response. The sport mode offers greater aggression in driving and you will definitely notice the extra power being put in.
It has already been announced that the production of the EV version of the Honda Fit will be restricted to only 1,100 cars that will be made available in select markets of the United States. The vehicles are going to be leased out from the summer of 2012. The cost that is being estimated will be to the tune of $399 every month. This is something that is definitely not palatable, as the EV version of the Honda Fit has definitely been provided with all the requisite qualities that can make it a successful vehicle across a global audience.