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EPA says Honda Fit has widest range among all-electric vehicles

June 06, 2012|By Jerry Hirsch
  • The electric version of the Honda Fit will go 82 miles on a single charge, farther than its Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus electric rivals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The electric version of the Honda Fit will go 82 miles on a single charge,… (Honda Motor Co. )

Honda has leapfrogged its competitors in mileage range and EPA ratings for the upcoming Honda Fit electric vehicle.

The all-electric version of the popular Fit subcompact will be able to travel 82 miles on a single charge, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

That’s better than the Ford Focus electric (76 miles), the Nissan Leaf (73 miles) and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (62 miles).  

“The 82 miles is great. Every little bit helps when you are talking about range in an electric vehicle,”  said John O'Dell, who follows alternative fuel vehicles for auto information company Edmunds.com

What’s more, the Fit has among the smallest batteries of the electric vehicles on the market. The 20 kilowatt-hour battery is 13% smaller than the Focus' and 17% smaller than the Leaf's. Only the Mitsubishi, the tiniest car in the group, has a smaller charge capacity.

The Fit’s small battery makes it less expensive and faster to charge -- about three hours at 240 volts -- and contributes to its class-leading miles per gallon equivalent rating.

“The car is lighter and smaller so a smaller battery will take it farther,” said O'Dell.

The EPA rated the car at 118 mpg equivalent. The Mitsubishi is 112, the Focus, 105 and the Leaf, 99.

The EPA estimates the Fit’s annual fuel cost at $500.

Honda plans to begin leasing the battery-electric commuter vehicle to customers in select California and Oregon markets this summer, followed by an East Coast rollout in 2013. A 36-month lease will be offered at $389 per month with no down payment.

The automaker plans to build only 1,100 electric Fits and won’t allow consumer to purchase the cars outright.

“This is really a test program,” O’Dell said.

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Ford Focus highlights contrast in electric-car strategies

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