Honda Issues Apology for Fit EV Shortage Caused by Massive Reduction in Lease Rate; Details When More Fit EVs will Arrive


On May 30, Honda did this:

  • Fit EV monthly lease price reduced from $389 to $259 a month for new and existing lessees
  • New three-year lease term requires no down payment and includes unlimited mileage, routine maintenance and collision coverage
  • Customers receive 240 volt EV home charging station equipment as part of the lease

    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

That move by Honda prompted droves of customers to seek out a Fit EV to lease.  This led to an immediate shortage/temporary sell out of the Fit EV, which annoyed some potential lessees.  Waiting lists were created.  The search was on for the few existing Fit EVs in the US and a flurry of calls hit Honda.

All of that led to this apology/explanation letter from Honda, dated June 14:

More Fit EV Electric Vehicles on the Way

Steven Center

“We expected a strong positive consumer response to our recent announcement that the Fit EV monthly lease price had been reduced from $389 to $259 for new and existing customers alike. It turns out that a “strong” response was gross understatement. Customer interest spiked significantly and demand for the Fit EV has grown considerably. We’ve even heard rumors that the Fit EV may already be sold out.”

“As with any rumor, the truth is somewhat different. While many of our dealers have reported leasing their available inventory of Fit EV’s since our late May announcement of the lower lease price, we are still producing a consistent rate of Fit EVs per month for the U.S. market and shipping them to dealers as quickly as possible. This is a temporary inventory issue, not a question of being “sold out.”

“Still, we recognize that some customers have experienced frustration as they attempt to locate dealers with available Fit EVs. We sincerely apologize for this – though it should be only a temporary inconvenience. The good news is that more Fit EV’s are on their way to dealer showrooms.”

“Here is what we suggest in the meantime: we encourage interested customers to contact their local qualified Fit EV dealer to complete the lease qualification process and, if they qualify,and if a vehicle is not immediately available, to put their names on a wait list. Wait lists evolve quickly and people drop out as time passes, therefore the lists are not as long as one would think. We also encourage customers to stay in contact with their local dealers to ensure they receive the latest information on the delivery of Fit EV’s. Though this may sound a bit discouraging, we believe that our dealers’ current inventory — supplemented by future shipments — will be adequate to satisfy ultimate demand for the Fit EV.”

“Bottom line: Honda is bringing more Fit EV’s to our U.S. dealers every month, and those future shipments are not sold out. With the new lower lease price along with our offer of no down payment, unlimited mileage, routine maintenance, collision coverage and a free 240 volt EV home charging station (not including installation)1 we are confident that the Fit EV is not only the best electric vehicle on the road but also the value in the EV market. We appreciate the interest already shown by our customers. Thank you!”

Steve Center
Vice President, Environmental Business Development
June 14, 2013

Categories: Honda

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20 Comments on "Honda Issues Apology for Fit EV Shortage Caused by Massive Reduction in Lease Rate; Details When More Fit EVs will Arrive"

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demand > supply => Honda leaving money on the table.

Unless Honda is losing money on each car (which is very possible with a compliance EV), in which case they might actually be “making” money for each one of these missed sales.

They could also be making (real) money if some of those missed sales turn into an actual sale of something else – maybe you’re interested in this Accord PHEV?

How many Fit EV’s would Honda sell if it cost $40,000 more?
When we send a Chevy Volt to Japan it costs them $80,000 to buy one.. but the Japanese say there are no tariffs.

I say we should demand that the Japanese let our Chevy Volt be sold at the real cost or else we should put the same costs on the Fit EV.

We better start thinking globally.

If there is a shortage now, that just means they cut their price too much or threw in too many incentives. The free charging station is an excellent idea (one I’d like to see other EVs adopt), but IMO they should have only cut the rate to between 300-330.

No I don’t think so. I am on the list and I think it should have been even lower. 🙂

Honda, please tell us what you’re going to do with all those Fit EVs after they get off lease? Please don’t crush them like GM did with the EV1.

Pease don’t shred them like you did all the Honda EV Pluses…

I suspect they are losing money on these vehicles.. ESPECIALLY if you consider the fact that they don’t intend on actually selling the vehicles at the end of the lease. If people are paying $259 per month on a 3 year lease that only works out to $9,324 a piece. If they plan on crushing them at the end, it is safe to say that is a loss. And keep in mind, Honda has already produced an electric vehicle back at the same time as the GM-EV1 and they had them all “shredded into a million pieces” as was seen on “Who Killed the Electric Car?”

This is just Honda looking for consumers willing to conduct real world durability testing with their retrofit EV. Same as with Ford and the Focus retrofit EV, but Ford allows for the actual purchase.

So don’t expect a large number of the current Fit EVs to make it to the market, just like Ford is not interested in flooding the market with the current Focus EV.

It will be the the next gen 2015/16 Fit EV and the 2015/16 Focus Electric with lighter bodies better integrated battery packs, longer range and cost less, that will be mass marketed/sold to the public.

While I’m sure that Ford will have a 2016 Focus EV, I’m not convinced Honda has any plans for a 2016 Fit EV. I hope I’m wrong, of course.

I think a lot of that depends on battery tech – if technologies like Envia come to fruition then I think most automakers will have a small car (from the FIT to the LEAF sized) that can get 125-150 miles of range for a reasonable price. But if they don’t then I think Honda and other manufacturers will abandon EVs until the next oil price spike.

A “furry” of calls? Did potential customers get their cats to call in too?

Seems so…lol

Don’t sell Honda short.

The original Insight was pretty trick!!

The second generation isn’t so bad either. It’s far more enjoyable to drive than a Prius, and actually can get close to the same mileage. I used to love driving my Insight until I got a Leaf 😉

Positive about electrons

Does anyone else see this as validation for the Tesla sales model? One waiting list instead of one per dealership, knowledge of supply vs sales people speculating (embellishing facts), etc.

How much are the zero emission credits worth for each vehicle? Maybe Honda isn’t losing as much as we think?

Definitely sold out in Los Angeles. Tried to bag one of these the very first day June 1st. I called 4 dealers who all had 4 to 6 of them. Two dealers aid there was an actual line at the door when they opened and sold out of them by noon. By the afternoon, the wait lists were between 9 and 21 people just on the first day. Was told that when any dealer is to get a Fit EV in stock, it would be first come first server. No call yet. I suspect there are some second hand deals going on, but oh well. I think the unlimited miles, free $1000 charger, collision insurance, car pool stickers, and $2500 back from CA state all created this demand. Essentially getting paid to drive this car for 10 months for free. Should have been smart and signed the lease on May 30 before June 1st the first day. But then would not get the charger.

Are any available in Illinois?