By on May 24, 2018

2018 Honda Fit Sport 6MT in Orange Fury - Image: Honda

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]

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8 Comments on “Honda Thinks a Small, Cheap EV Is Just the Right Fit...”


  • avatar
    Ryan

    I’m all for energy independence and affordable options. I hope this model will be sold in North America.

  • avatar
    TwoBelugas

    “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. ”

    Sounds ambitious. I wonder how many that would actually sell for if it reaches the US.

  • avatar
    thirty-three

    At that price I would definitely buy one. $18,000 USD is under $25,000 CDN.

    300km is one week of commuting for me, and I have access to a free charger at work.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Not sure I’m expecting this idea to win for Honda, at least in USDM. Everyone remembers how the iMiEV fared — very poorly. The buyers of EVs are looking for value and the $18k EV is likely to be worse than Mitsubishi’s attempt. Even Leaf is suffering nowadays. The story is likely to be different in China.

    • 0 avatar
      Malforus

      I think Honda is intentionally not targeting the US but rather asian markets first (The Chinese pricing tips their hand) so they can make back costs in a market with more aggressive subsidies and lower range anxiety.

  • avatar
    nvinen

    I keep hearing how popular EVs are in China but I’ve been in Guangdong for the last two weeks and except for Hong Kong, where there are lots of Teslas, I think I’ve seen one EV driving around. It looked like a cross between a Kei car and a golf cart. Plenty of ICE vehicles here though. Lots of sedans! It’s great!

    There are heaps of electric bikes and scooters (seemingly all trying to run me down while I’m walking along the footpath) but that’s another matter…

  • avatar
    ceipower

    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.

  • avatar
    Groovypippin

    “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?

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