Honda Thinks a Small, Cheap EV Is Just the Right Fit

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

You’d be forgiven for not remembering the Honda Fit EV. Hardly a Bolt or Leaf, the short-ranged electric was available for lease in California for a very brief time; some 1,100 examples arrived on U.S. shores between July of 2012 and October of 2014.

Right now, the only way to get into an electric vehicle bearing the Honda badge is to move to California or Oregon and take out a pretty decent lease on a Clarity EV. That could soon change, as Honda plans to build a successor to that early electric. Yes, it will still use the Fit as its muse.

According to Nikkei Asian Review (via AutoGuide), a tie-up between honda and giant Chinese battery producer Contemporary Amperex Technology will bring us another Fit EV, or at least one based on it. This could be the start of a long-term relationship, too. Both companies plan to work together on a number of initiatives, including the development of other future vehicles.

The plan targets affordability over anything else, with driving range taking a backseat to price. This is apparently key to Honda’s global ambitions for the model.

Expected to be introduced in early 2020 (in both EV-hungry China and other locales), the Fit-based model, which may or may not emerge as an actual Fit, will sell for the Chinese equivalent of $18,000. The automaker hopes for a range of 300 kilometers per charge, which works out to 186 miles. That’s not terrible, and it beats the range of existing low-priced EVs. You can expect 151 miles of range from a 2018 Nissan Leaf and 124 miles from the Hyundai Ioniq.

It isn’t known if North American customers will see the vehicle. Honda expects to build 100,000 of them a year, which is a pretty hefty number, though the Chinese market appears limitless in its desire for cheap green cars.

In March, Honda confirmed production of its cute Urban EV, a retro-styled four-seater looking like a futuristic vision from the ’70s. At this point, the model is only confirmed for Europe, with a launch date expected in late 2019.

[Image: Honda]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Ceipower Ceipower on May 25, 2018

    Honda’s track record on introducing a whole new product has been dismal over the past 20 years. This does not appear to break that mold, at least not in the American Market. EV’s are all about range , just like hybrids are all about MPG’s. Honda seems to not understand this and brings out one failed product after another.

  • Groovypippin Groovypippin on May 25, 2018

    "300 KM range" unless you are driving more than 60 KMs per hour, or have the air conditioning on, or the heat on, or the radio on or its cold outside. In those instances you can actually watch your battery charge drop like a stone and experience the terror of not knowing whether or not you are going to even make it to your destination. Thus was my experience with the Nissan Leaf I owned for 8 days. A short hop commuter vehicle works for some, but then why pay the huge extra charge for a battery electric vehicle if you don't actually drive much?

  • Fahrvergnugen Any rollback would be inevitable if Agent Orange were elected anyhow.Next stop would be coal-powered ICE. Good clean American coal. Nice coal. The BEST coal.👿🐂💩
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh 10,000% the fault of deregulation, shareholders and trump.... good job luddites. *fear* progress and don't invest in any infrastructure and just keep taking profits.
  • Paul Pity. I think there's a market for these now that half ton pickups are so immense. A few more fumbles and GM could miss out.
  • Kcflyer So I get to continue to subsidize my neighbors new EV's. Bonus, I get to pay for they kids Gender Studies Diplomas.
  • Wolfwagen The Alpha Numeric model system used to be good and had some consistency either to the size of the vehicle or engine. Now its just gobbly gook that doesn't make any sense. Lincoln was the worst since all their vehicles looked the same and all started with MK.