In a move that was long anticipated, Honda is finally reducing the cost of “owning” their Fit EV to match the new competition in the market place, in hopes of moving the 1,100 electric cars they feel they need to sell to satisfy CARB compliance regulations.
Starting on June 1st, the Honda Fit EV lease moves from $389 ($0 down/36 month lease) to $259 ($0 down/36 months). The Fit EV is still not available for purchase.
And while we feel the lease price reduction is a good first step to attracting new customers, its the second announcement that might be the biggest catalyst to new sales.
Almost every mass produced EV, with help of the federal government and state incentive plans, can offer you a cheap lease payment; but because Honda really doesn’t care about these cars all that much past booking the sale itself, the removal of the 12,000 mile per year restriction is huge to those would-be EV owners who want to get in on the great leasing deals but drive an extreme about of miles.
Over the Fit EV’s first 10 months on the market, only 161 have been sold, meaning that it was going to take Honda approximately 5 more years to sell out their 1,100 limited run allotment. The price had to break, and then some.
However, what does these mean for those 161 current owners of the Fit EV? Well, Honda is refreshingly taking the high road, and is extending the those existing drivers as well, by also reducing their lease payments by $130 going forward.
Steven Center, Vice President of the Environmental Business Development Office at Honda (which we assume is a real position-even though it sounds made up) sent out an email late Wednesday informing owners of the upcoming changes in payment terms…as well as pitching a Solar City energy solution:
“Tomorrow, Honda will announce that we are reducing the lease price of the Honda Fit EV from $389 to $259 per month for new customers starting June 1. We will also announce the elimination of the mileage cap of 12,000 miles per year, allowing customers to drive unlimited miles during the term of the lease.
As we appreciate your business and want to reward your leadership as an early adopter of Fit EV technology, I wanted to let you know that we intend to offer our current Honda Fit EV customers a similar reduction in your lease plan as well as the elimination of the mileage cap.
Beginning in June, subject to your agreement, your monthly Honda Fit EV lease payment will be reduced from $389 per month to $259 per month (plus tax) for the remainder of your lease. You will soon receive a follow up communication which will provide details regarding the specifics of this payment reduction. Should you have any questions regarding these lease enhancements, please contact email@example.com.
I hope you are enjoying your Fit EV, recently named one of the Ten Best Green Cars of 2013 by KBB.com. To further enhance your experience, I encourage you to take advantage of Honda’s partnership with SolarCity to install solar power at your home with no upfront cost. This will allow you to charge your Fit EV with clean, affordable power from the sun. To find out more, please visit www.hondasolarcity.com or call 855-775-SOLAR (7652).”
Considering the lease also includes collision insurance, which probably save owners around $50/month on average, as well as includes a 240 volt EV home charging station, the lease offer is now the most attractive in the industry in our opinion.
The Honda guy (unsurprisingly) thinks so too:
“The Fit EV already is a benchmark electric vehicle with a leading-range rating, fun-to-drive dynamics and excellent packaging,” said Mr. Carter, “Now it’s the only EV on the market with no down payment, unlimited mileage, collision coverage and a free home charging station, giving customers an unprecedented value that only Honda can provide and a compelling reason to get off the barrel and onto the grid.”
The Honda Fit EV features:
- 82 Miles Range (EPA Scale)
- 118 MPGe Rating (highest of all EVs currently on the market)
- 92 kilowatt (123 hp) coaxial electric motor generating 189 ft-lb of torque (of which we drag raced a Volt with and handily beat)
- $389/month (36 month) lease
- 20 kWh battery
- 6.6 kW charging, which means near full charges in about 3 hours
- and ECO mode setting that should never be selected by anyone as it retards the driving to sub-human levels
- theoretical room for 5 passengers
- good size boot with a 60/40 split
While the new lease structure means the Fit EV can now do battle with the likes of the 2013 Nissan LEAF ($199/month lease, $1,999 down), we feel the battle for sales will wage more inside its size class.
Like the Spark EV, which comes to market next month, the Honda Fit EV was also originally released to only California and Oregon, but now is available in other CARB states on the east coast, such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey.