Here’s Why the Honda Fit EV is Not Nearly as Expensive as You Might Think


Honda Fit EV Lease Rate Lower Than You Might Expect

Honda Fit EV Lease Rate Lower Than You Might Expect

Is $389 per month for 36 months too much to ask for the Honda Fit EV?

At first glance it may seem like Honda is crazy to ask $389 per month (especially when you can lease a 2013 Nissan LEAF S for just $199), but it turns out that the Fit EV ain’t a bad deal.

Update (May 30th, 2013):  The lease deal just got a lot better, as the monthly payment has been lowered to $259!

As electric vehicle enthusiast (and lessee of a Fit EV) Peder Norby points out, some potential Fit EV lessees don’t quite understand how the fine print makes the electric Fit less expensive than it may seem.

We should note that we’ve covered the Fit EV, including the terms of the lease, in detail many moons ago, but we’re guessing that few remember that post and even less potential lessees are still aware of how Honda offers the Fit EV.

So, here are the highlights:

2013 Honda Fit EV.  $389/month (or less) Lease Only

2013 Honda Fit EV. $389/month (or less) Lease Only

Honda covers collision and comprehensive insurance for the Fit EV.  Lessees are still responsible for personal liability and property damage.  This will save the average lessee approximately $500 to $600 per year, or  $42 to $50 per month.  $389 minus $50 = $339  (Update: now $209)

The Honda Fit EV is a zero-down lease, whereas the Nissan LEAF lease deal requires a down payment of $1,999.  This amounts to a savings for Fit EV lessees of approximately $56 per month and an addition of $56 per month on top of the LEAF’s $199 lease rate.  $339 minus $56 = $283 (Update: now $143)

On the flip side, if we take the 2013 LEAF lease rate of $199 per month and add in the required down payment (broken into 36 monthly payments of $56) and the estimated $600 in additional insurance costs ($50 per month), them we arrive at a monthly lease rate of $305.

Yes, we realize this is not the most precise way to compare lease rates and that deals could be worked out to get a Nissan LEAF with $0 down (the monthly lease rate will likely increase).

But that’s not the point we’re trying to make here.  We’re simply trying to point out that the logical thinker should see past Honda’s $389 $259 per month rate and instead realize that the Fit EV is very competitively priced.

Too bad Honda hasn’t even tried to better promote the actual cost of the Fit EV.  $389 $259 per month is not the number Honda should be focusing on.

Update: New graphic published by Honda on lease costs in the industry:

Update: Honda Released This Graphic On The Competition And Leases

Update: Honda Released This Graphic On The Competition And Leases

Hat tip to Peder Norby!!

Gallery: Double click to enlarges images.

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17 Comments on "Here’s Why the Honda Fit EV is Not Nearly as Expensive as You Might Think"

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Wow, Eric, did you fail middle-school math? You are blatantly double-counting the savings of the down payment and the insurance. You cannot simultaneously subtract the $106 from the FitEV’s price AND add it to the Leaf’s.

A better comparison is against the Leaf SV, since they are more similarly equipped. And make sure that Leaf doesn’t have CHAdeMO, since the FitEV has no quick-charge option available.

Moreover, in a previous story here in insideEVs, it was revealed that the 2013 Leaf actually has an 84 mile range when charged to 100%. You have to compare apples-to-apples.

Yes there was a little math snafu in the article. Fixed now, thanks Brian

Thanks! Sorry for coming off a little terse.

All that nit-picking aside, I still agree the FitEV seems to be worth the price. But I wouldn’t count on the numbers given here. I’m basing my opinion on the subjective aspect of a better ride (full disclaimer: I have not yet been able to drive one myself, just basing this off others’ experience)

Seems like bad accounting to say “we arrive at a monthly lease rate of $305 versus the Fit EV at $283”. That’s comparing the LEAF’s all-in price to the Fit’s stripped-down price.

Beaten to the punch 😉

So the correct comparison is $283 for the Honda fit vs. $199 for the Nissan Leaf.

Yes, $283 vs $199 is the correct comparison. The math in the article is still wrong and should be corrected.

It probably doesn’t matter since Honda doesn’t want to sell these cars anyway. They’d probably rather be able to say “Look, we built an electric car but nobody wanted to buy it.. see we should get rid of that EV mandate!”

2013 SV at $249 is a better comparison to Fit EV(includes 6.6kW on-board charger, Nav, Cruise, Alloys, B-Mode). LEAF is a bigger car, Fit EV feels sportier, but the lease pricing is very similar. Choice is more about preference and availability.

From an engineering and performance standpoint the Fit EV is total win. However it’s failure a from the Honda marketing standpoint. A lease with no option to buy only makes economic sense to someone who can claim deductions against the lease. Having access to deductions is essential should annual mileage surpass 12,000 to offset lease mileage tolls. Passing ths milestone negates any savings from not buying gas. Real economic advantage comes with owning an EV after three years when lower operating & maintence costs start paying back. Fit EV has no options to purchase, and no options to extend the lease. Also consider a first-time EV driver will also need to budget $1000-1800 for a home charger. This works out to an extra $25-$50 per month over three years, less if drive an EV for a longer timeframe. The new base model LEAF S can be leased not only in California, but any state from $99/mo – $149/mo (depending on down payment & options). A LEAF lease looks even more attractive if one considers their current gas expenses… exchange a couple $45 fill-ups /mo & a new car is just lattes away! It is harder to make same justification when… Read more »
Thanks to Inside EV for covering this. As it was my post, I though I would add my calculations and description. I. The $199 lease offers from Nissan are only for 10,000 miles a year, for the Honda FitEV it is 12,000 miles a year. 2. Honda covers the collision and comprehensive insurance. For most drivers, that is a savings of $35 a month, for younger drivers it can be as much as $60, lowering the effective lease rate to approx. $350 a month. 3. The Honda has no down payment. The down payment on the LEAF adds approx $55 a month to the effective monthly cost of the Leaf. 4. The Honda has a 7KW charger, which charges twice as fast than the base Leaf, so no comparison to the base Leaf. 5. The Honda has greater range, more horsepower, is faster and far more fun to drive, and has a full nav, again no comparison to the base Leaf. 6. This is personal taste but the Honda Fit EV is a far better looking car. 7. The range on the Honda is 82 miles EPA, The 2013 Leaf is 75 miles EPA, so a 10% greater range for… Read more »

The Fit EV also has an air cooled battery. This should be superior to the Leaf’s sealed battery in hot climates. However not as good as a liquid cooled battery in my opinion, and I would avoid it if I lived where there is a lot of humidify and salt in the air, like on the gulf coast.


I’m in love with this car. My only thought is to add a removable battery which you could keep in the trunk area to give you an optional additional mileage. My 2 cents.

I have had my Fit EV for about two months now.
I considered a Leaf, but the Fit sounded like more fun.
It is.
No regrets.

No one has mentioned Nissan’s disposition fee of $350 due at the end of the lease.

When I was comparing the Leaf to the Fit EV in late 2012, I was basing it on the 2012 model at $279/mo. After factoring in the $44/mo savings on collision and comprehensive, $6/mo more to charge, $2400 down payment, and fee mentioned above of $350, it was a wash over 36 months. Then I looked at both, drove both and considered the time to charge. Easy decision. The remaining question is whether Honda will really waive the extra mile fee.

Listed MSRP of $37,415. Still closed-end lease/no option to buy. See the footprint: