Honda Reduces The Fit EV Lease From $389 to $259, Moves To Unlimited Mileage

2 years ago by Jay Cole 38

Need A Cheap, High Mileage Lease On An Electric Vehicle?  Then The 2013 Honda Fit EV Is Your Only Choice

Need A Cheap, High Mileage Lease On An Electric Vehicle? Then The 2013 Honda Fit EV Is Your Only Choice

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.

First Fit EV Owner, Matt Walton, Also Gets A Reduced Lease Payment

First Fit EV Owner, Matt Walton, Also Gets A Reduced Lease Payment

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.

Unlimited mileage.

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.

2013 Honda Fit Interior

2013 Honda Fit Interior

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 fitevsales@ahm.honda.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.”

Update: Honda Released This Graphic On The Competition And Leases

Update: Honda Released This Graphic On The Competition And Leases

The Fit EV Offers Good Rear Cargo Area

The Fit EV Offers Good Rear Cargo Area

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
The Honda Fit EV Motor Can Make Quick Work of Both The Nissan LEAF And Chevrolet Volt (when in sport mode)

The Honda Fit EV Motor Can Make Quick Work of Both The Nissan LEAF And Chevrolet Volt (when in sport mode)

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.

The main competition there comes from the new 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV ($199/month lease, $999 down), and the upcoming 2014 Fiat 500e ($199/month lease, $999 down).

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.

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38 responses to "Honda Reduces The Fit EV Lease From $389 to $259, Moves To Unlimited Mileage"

  1. MrEnergyCzar says:

    Air cooled battery only?

    MrEnergyCzar

    1. Ambulator says:

      It probably doesn’t matter. Those SCIB batteries can take a beating.

    2. KeiJidosha says:

      Toshiba SCiB 6,000 cycle life, air cooled battery. Should be good for ~6 recharges per day over the lease period, or about 400,000+ miles. http://www.toshiba.com/ind/data/tag_files/SCiB_Brochure_5383.pdf

      1. CAMiEV says:

        Too bad. It is for leased only.

    3. Scott says:

      Water cooled.

  2. Dave R says:

    Good on Honda for extending the new terms to current Lessees as well.

  3. Brian says:

    Unfortunately, the need to lower the price is probably going to discourage Honda from offering these EVs for sale. I wonder what they plan to do when the leases are up? Crush them? Roll a new EV? Or just silently store them away somewhere and hope people jump on their hybrids? I feel it’s all too likely that Honda will spin this into a “see – I told you nobody wants these cars” story…

  4. David Murray says:

    Looks like a good car. Pity I can’t stand the appearance of the Fit. Not only that, but it looks just like every other $15,000 Fit on the road to the untrained eye.

    1. Taser54 says:

      It is interesting to see the portion of the EV community that requires an EV to look different from an ICE. Personally, I don’t understand the need. Just get a personalized license plate such as “NO GAS” or “NPNS” and move on.

      1. Brian says:

        The best part is, there is another portion of the EV community that won’t buy a car that stands out as “green”.

      2. Aaron says:

        Please tell me that NPNS license place doesn’t mean what I think it does… No P-n-s…

        1. taser54 says:

          No Plug No Sale

          1. danwat1234 says:

            LOL.

    2. Danpatgal says:

      David Murray: You don’t like the looks of the Fit. You don’t like the iMiev. I’m sure you hate the Fiat 500e and Smart ED; the Spark is probably not pleasing enough to you either. [Sigh]

      I’m sure you don’t expect everyone to like what you like. If it were up to me, I’d rather be on a bicycle, train or bus, or just walking. No shell, no status, no brand, no image. Just a person moving through some basic chores or going to work. Having a car is an artificial requirement created by car and oil companies that we’ve sadly turned into some kind of image of ourselves. I’m sure if you had to wander around the neighborhood in your refrigerator, there would be all sorts of fancy versions, shapes, styles, and colors … all mostly irrelevant for keeping your food fresh.

  5. CAMiEV says:

    Does anyone know if these lease amount is negotiable or not?

  6. Taser54 says:

    Honda squandered their opportunity to move these quickly and now I fear -even with the new lease- that they’ve ceded market perception to its competitors. Here, Honda should have adjusted the lease terms months ago when it was apparent that nobody wanted the Fit EV at that price. Now, it’s going to be very difficult for Honda to convince the market to give them a second chance.

    One thing that may save them is the unlimited mileage; however, I doubt it gives them a clear advantage as a person can buy the other EV and easily have unlimited mileage. Who knows? Honda just has to convince 1000 people to take the lease.

    As an EV owner though, would you be willing to put your faith in a manufacturer that is only putting the bare minimum wrt to EVs or would you rather reward a manufacturer for a long term commitment?

    I would sooner own a leaf or a spark/volt or a tesla or a focus. Nissan, GM, Tesla, and Ford have shown a commitment to EVs. I think future EV owners should show a commitment to them too.

    1. CAMiEV says:

      Explain to me, how does GM and Ford shown more commitment to EV than Honda? The Spark EV and Focus EV are compliance cars also? Limited production and limited distribution.

      1. Taser54 says:

        I think you misunderstand what a “compliance” car is. A “compliance” car is one built solely to meet California’s zero EV mandate and only sold in California. GM is selling the spark in California, Oregon, South Korea, Europe, and Canada in the initial rollout. It, therefore, is not a compliance car. Likewise, the Focus EV is sold outside California (I can buy one in VA). Additionally, the fact that Ford and GM sell these vehicles means that they have committed to service the vehicles and provide parts for the vehicles for the long term (required by law when you sell a vehicle). Honda, in contrast, will take back their lease-only fleet and destroy them like the EV1 so that they don’t have to service them after the lease period.

        I hope this clarifies for you what a “compliance” car is.

        1. Brian says:

          Fit EV is available here in Syracuse, NY. It’s hard to get much farther from California – geographically or culturally.

          The real key is the “lease only” approach.

          Oh, and as for Ford, quantity is only limited by demand. Ford swears up and down that they will build a car for anyone who wants one. Of course, few people order cars to be built. By not keeping a large stock of Focus EVs, Ford is artificially lowering demand.

          1. taser54 says:

            You are correct about the new availability outside CA . Unfortunately, my point about the captured fleet still stands. If you can’t buy the Fit EV outright, then the manufacturer has not committed to provide parts/service beyond the lease period. -think EV1 version 2.0.

  7. CAMiEV says:

    Does anyone know how does Honda home charging credit work? I couldn’t find on their site? Thx

  8. Danpatgal says:

    Very impressive that they’d extend the lease deal to existing lessees. It’s not a huge financial hit to Honda for only 161 so far, but still – nice. I’d love to drive a Fit … if maybe it comes to the East Coast before the Spark …

    1. Aaron says:

      The Fit EV is already available on the East Coast. There are dealerships in New York that have them already.

        1. Danpatgal says:

          Yes, I did forget that … perhaps I should have said in MY area (central PA) and for sale. I wouldn’t mind leasing if it was quite cheap, but without a buy option at the end, if I really liked the car, I’d hate to be forced away from it.

  9. Peder Norby says:

    We’re just celebrating our one year mark with the Honda Fit EV and we love it. (it’s not bad at all to drive it in eco mode) Very classy move by Honda to modify the lease terms for its existing drivers. I’ve never heard of that being done before, so major Kudos and thanks to Honda. It’s a $3,600 present over the next two years :)

    Just want to add that Honda allows its California drivers to get the $2500 CARB rebate so the $259 a month drops to $190 a month when you factor the rebate in. I’m not sure the others give the rebate to the customer.

    Also the Toshiba Scib battery in the Honda Fit EV is the best in the world with between 4000 and 6000 cycle life (I’ve heard the lab test were even better) The Honda Fit EV should have no problems reaching 400,000 miles on the battery pack. I’d love to be able to find out!

    We also drive a BMW ActiveE. My advice is that if your looking for a good practical affordable car that can save you $200 a month or more on the cost of gasoline? Lease the Honda Fit EV.

    Bravo Honda!
    I’m a Honda Fan for life :)

    80,000 solar powered EV miles.
    Cheers!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Peder,

      Thanks for checking in, with only 161 (+ maybe another 2 dozen) this month sold. We don’t get a lot of feed-back on the car long term. I know I really enjoyed my hour or so with the car, it is strangely fulfilling compared with some other products. Now its a pretty great lease-value too!

      1. Peder Norby says:

        ..but its a heck of a lot more fun to drive in sport mode :) My wife Julie is an 18,000 mile a year driver and I drive 12,000 miles a year. We platoon between the two electric cars, She needs to haul stuff, she takes the Fit, I need to haul stuff, I take the Fit. Going out for a nice dinner we take the BMW.

        Essentially, Julie was spending between $250 -$300 a month in gasoline for her 1500 miles a month. At $190 a month (after CARB rebate) this is the lowest car payment I have had in my life. Driving on sunshine with a 6 year old paid off solar PV system saves us $250-$300 a month on the Honda and about $200 a month on the BMW ActiveE in gasoline cost. That,s about $5500 a year in savings.
        You can drive on sunshine and I am glad Honda is vigorously promoting its solar PV option as well.

        Cheers!

      2. KeiJidosha says:

        The LEAF is roomier, the Spark is quicker, the 500e more stylish, the Smart ED wins the urban parking competition, and the Focus Electric is EV invisible. All now essentially at the same ~$200 lease price. But of those sub 100 mile EVs, the Fit EV is the best executed package of performance and features available. At 11k+ miles, surprisingly excellent, reliable, and seriously fun to drive.

  10. Gwido says:

    It’s incredible how much cheaper it is to lease an EV in the U.S.A compared to Canada…

  11. Suprise Cat says:

    Looks like a nice car, Honda should be ashamed not to sell it globally.

  12. KeiJidosha says:

    From the press release;

    “Reduced from $389 a month, the new three-year lease term stretches customer’s electric dollar even further with no down payment, unlimited mileage, routine maintenance, collision coverage AND a 240 volt EV home charging station equipment (not including installation),1 from Leviton.”

    New lease includes a free L2 “charger” (EVSE)!

  13. Ed Cheung says:

    Actually a great deal for this price.
    Why would anyone want to buy this at this lease rate? = the depreciation on this car is more then the lease payments? PLUS unlimited miles PLUS free Charger PLUS nothing down?
    $259 x 12 months = $3108 or $9,324 for 3 years
    If they were selling this car it probably would be about $27,500 or more – $7500 tax credit = $20k. That means the residual in 3 year despite it probably having > 45k miles and old battery tech in 2016 is 53% This is not even including the $1200 240V charger???

    Honda is almost giving these things away. Actually if I leased one of these, they would literally be almost paying me for this car. I spend $290 to $300 a month in gas. Not to mention the $5 to $12 a day for the CA carpool lane toll which would be free.

    The only thing is I would be driving this little thing vs my Lexus . . . Still what a deal !

  14. Anonymous says:

    “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. ”

    1. The Fit EV is NOT available for sale. It is available for lease only.

    2. The Fit EV is not available outside California and Oregon until sometime around the second half of Feb 2013.

    In 2012, a total of 93 customers took delivery of it, though the delivery rate in the first two months were extremely low at roughly 40% of the remainder of 2012.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Well, the article does mention you can only lease them, and the “sold” is in italics. We have the term owning in air quotes as well in the first sentence. I think most who read the article understands.

      If we did split that hair and refer to leases as leases and sales as sales, Chevrolet would have only reported about 250 sales last month, and not the 1,306 transactions. Its a figure of speech.

      As for where it is located as being the prior deterent to sales, California alone accounts for more about half of all EV sales in the US…and Honda was only averaging 17 a month before the lease reduction. So being national was still not going to get the job done regardless. Hence, this lease price cut.

      Past that, I spoke to Robert Langford, who is Manager of Plug-In and Electric Vehicle Sale and Marketing at Honda myself last August when the Fit EV first came out, and asked him about the current demand how many they expected to sell from that point on and he said “…we anticipate approximately 40 deliveries per month on average”

      As history has born witness in the 8 months since that conversation, it didn’t happen. As for the car itself, we actually really like it, and now Honda is taking appropriate action to move them. Even still, they may have to revisit the pricing structure once more, its hard to say.

      What is most likely to help sales may not even be the price, like the Focus Electric when the C-max Energi and Fusion Energi came to market, the Accord Plug-in is basically making many more dealerships equipped to sell and serice an EV.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Furthermore, I think the writer unfortunately missed this:

    “In addition to the new lease price, the Fit EV online application process is further streamlined to allow for quicker approval and delivery of the vehicle to the customer. Further, the network of qualified Fit EV Honda dealers in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut will expand from 36 to more than 200 by the end of June.”

  16. Matt says:

    Tried to buy a Fit EV here at a local Honda dealer in Anaheim CA. They must be discouraging the sales crew because all the sales guy did was tell me how much better a civic or another Standard Fit with gas engine would be smarter & any excuse he could make up he tried. He would not even hear me out refarding the factory lease special. Just bait & switch tactics.
    Then got an email stating ” the entire inventory of Fit EV were sold out in 1 day & that the entire state of Calif was sold out too.” But they would be more than happy to let me test drive another car such as a civic or accord. Honda please sell these direct to consumer PLEASE ill buy one today!!!!