Honda Plans To Deliver About 40 Fit EVs A Month, Bigger Plans For the Upcoming Accord Plug-In
In late June, Honda delivered their first Fit EV to a Californian couple and also managed to get another 6 out before the month expired, for a total of 7 vehicles into customer’s hands in the electric Fit’s first month on the market.
Not a bad start.
However Honda has been very forthright in stating that this car is only on the market today in the US as a result of tough emission regulations under the California Air Resources Board that require them to sell a certain percentage of electric vehicles or face the potential for fines.
Honda has stated they will build only 1,100 of the Fit EVs to satisfy CARB requirements, and that is it. So no one is expected huge things, or a big marketing push behind Honda’s 82 mile/118 MPGe EV. If demand is stronger, Honda sells out quickly, if demand is lax, they simply reduce the cars $389 (36 month) lease rate.
However, we at InsideEVs in our review of the Fit EV, found it to stack up quite nicely to its competition in the Nissan LEAF and Ford Focus Electric, so we were more than a little curious about exactly how much demand Honda has seen for the car so far, and just how many they expect to sell per month going forward from this demand.
Robert Langford, who is Manager of Plug-In and Electric Vehicle Sale and Marketing at Honda, in response told InsideEVs that “We (Honda) are pleased with the demand so far, and it is matching our expectations” and that “Honda Fit EVs are proceeding as scheduled.” Which we grant you doesn’t say a heck of a lot, but thankfully Robert put a number on what Honda’s expectation for sales going forward was:
“…we anticipate approximately 40 deliveries per month on average”
So while Honda still does not see a day yet when the Fit EV will be marketed as a mass market production offering, it still may pose some competition to the likes of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, that has had the darnest of times selling more than 40 copies a month. Even the Ford Focus Electric, in its third month on the market only sold 38 copies in June.
What Honda is excited for, is the new Honda Accord, and by association the Honda Accord plug-in hybrid, that goes on sale this fall.
The plug-in hybrid, while yet to be officially released in pictures and specifications, was spotted in the wild under camouflauge this past June, and like the Toyota Prius plug-in and Ford C-Max Energi, the Honda will also offer an all electric driving function followed up by a thrifty gas extended range engine once its electric power has run out.
The Accord plug-in hybrid will split the difference of the Prius plug-in’s 11 miles of range and the C-Max Energi’s “more than twenty miles” of range with 15 miles of its own. No word yet on the maximum speed you can drive electrically, but it is assumed it will at least match the Toyota’s 62 mph, while being less than the C-Max Energi’s 85 mph top speed.
The original concept was first seen at the LA autoshow in 2010, then later at the Tokyo autoshow in 2011, featured a 2.0-liter Atkinson four cylinder petrol engine, and two electric motors; one to charge the battery pack and one for the wheels.
Engine output was 134 hp (111 lb-ft of torque), while the drive motor/generator was rated at 161hp/100 kW. That model had an onboard 6 kWh lithium battery pack and a top electric speed of 62 mph.
Most of the design changes for 2013 are subtle, but Honda has made the car more aerodynamic, with features like flush windshield glass and flush windshield wipers. Honda also have added underbody panels to smooth out airflow and reduce drag.
By besting the Toyota in all electric range, and potentially the blended MPGe as well, Honda hopes to avoid another Insight-esque defeat to the Prius when its Accord does battle in the plug-in hybrid segment. The Toyota Prius plug-in sold 688 copies in June, and 5,014 in its first 5 months on the US market. We’d wager Honda would be happy with half that result.