Honda To Exit BEV Segment as Automaker Re-Confirms Fit EV Production Will End This Fall


1,100 and done.

Fit EV

Fit EV

Honda Fit EV production will be halted this fall when the automaker produces its 1,100th Fit EV:

“The 2014 model year will end early this fall, marking the end of production of the Fit EV.”

Says Honda, via a letter sent to a potential Fit EV lessee, who later posted it (see below) on the Honda Fit EV Drivers Facebook group page.

From Honda EV Sales

Thank you for your email and your interest in the Fit EV. Honda dealers received a significant increase in customer interest in the Fit EV when we announced the updated lease program in June. As a result, many dealers are maintaining lists of customers who want to lease the Fit EV. Most are reporting that their list is quite long.

Fit EV Interior

Fit EV Interior

Honda introduced the Fit EV with an announced volume of 1,100 units over two model years. The 2014 model year will end early this fall, marking the end of production of the Fit EV. Honda will continue to produce and distribute to authorized Fit EV dealers about 40 Fit EV’s per month until that time. While I understand your request for clarity about the timing and/or likelihood of leasing the Fit EV, it depends on a variety of factors such as customer ability or desire to wait for the car that are beyond our ability to predict. Honda’s experience with wait lists is that they eventually subside, though this appears to not be the case for the Fit EV.

Thank you again for your interest in the Honda Fit EV.

1,100 and done.  Honda is sticking to what it announced a couple of years ago, despite high demand for its fun-to-drive pure EV.  The decision to reduce the lease (to $259) and allow unlimited mileage along with some insurance cost exemptions make the little Honda extremely popular – to say the least.  (Fit EV lease announcement and details can be found here)

With the Fit EV being halted this fall, Honda will be left without a BEV to compete in the growing segment.

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91 Comments on "Honda To Exit BEV Segment as Automaker Re-Confirms Fit EV Production Will End This Fall"

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Compliance and a captured fleet.

“Honda’s experience with wait lists is that they eventually subside, though this appears to not be the case for the Fit EV.”

The message is clear: people are eager to drive electric. And the Fit EV is a good car, as far as the reviews go.

Will Honda get the message? The demand was there, why are they exiting the ev scene? Hydrogen? Hybrids?

The Honda FCEV is due in 2015, and that is the technology Honda have always believed in.
They built the Fit BEV to be compliant, but they will be compliant anyway using a technology they really fancy.

But fuel cells are too expensive for smaller cars, they only fit into 50000€+ models…

…also true of batteries. The estimate for the batteries for the Tesla is that they cost $30,000. This is why they want to build a battery factory.

The fact is there is NO way Honda can afford to sell this car for $259 per month and make money off it.

Every garage can fuel up a BEV. Who has H2 to fuel up a FCEV?

Any home could be rigged to produce hydrogen too, either from natural gas or electrolysis (water + electricity). The question is, will the rig be affordable? Safe? Honda has shown prototypes of home rigs before.

That’s the problem, everything is still in “prototype” phase. None of this is ready for prime time, and it may never be ready.

Certainly not hybrids. Honda hasn’t been competitive for a while with their offerings, and how it seems they may kill both the Insight and the CR-Z.

Haven’t you heard about the Honda Accord Hybrid? It’s EPA rated at 50 mpg City, 45 mpg Highway, and 47 mpg Combined.

Yes I have. They sold 500-some-odd of them last month. They were out-sold by 13 other hybrids from Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Lexus, Kia and even Lincoln. Hardly a real competitor.

The Accord hybrid has an impressive drivetrain where it is direct drive, no real transmission. It’s their first real hybrid. It’ll probably sell well in time.

They really should update the CRZ, Civic Hybrid with a real 2-motor hybrid drivetrain with atkinson cycle engines and give the CRZ more electrical punch beyond what “Sport+” currently does.

The Accord plug-in has been on sale for several months now, and for Jan they only sold 27 units. Only 30 Fit EVs were lease in the same month.

So the Insight is dead, the CR-Z should be next, as it’s sales were below the Insight. The monthly Civic Hybrid sales are almost equal the Insight and CR-Z combined monthly.

But it could be that Honda is just pulling the Fit EV until the next gen 2015 Fit EV is ready. Like they are doing with the Ridgeline pick up that will miss a model year.

Honda messed up their entry into hybrids pretty badly. Perhaps they are waiting to see how Nissan’s BEV risk works out before moving into the BEV space. But, you can bet Honda and Toyota both have BEV designs waiting. When the numbers work, they will respond.

The numbers work for Nissan today, but that’s because they made it work by going all-in.

The reason for the high demand is that the terms of the lease were/are incredible. Unlimited miles (because they’ll scrap them at the end of the lease so no worries about resale value), insurance included (so they can make any determinations themselves about repair/total any Fit EVs in accidents, reducing their commitment to things like parts), and a low monthly price (because they never intended to make a profit).

The incredible lease terms had the side effect of making other EVs look bad by comparison – as in “why can’t the LEAF/Focus Electric/Volt match these terms?” – and then hopefully getting those customers to switch to a non-EV thus undercutting CARB.

Sorry Honda … like Toyota with the RAV4 bullcrap you are now on my do-not-buy list. Previously both were among the brands I would most likely buy.


+1, and more: the avalanche of lease-term improvements by Honda and Toyota in the Compliance market, helped re-inforce the fake media narrative of “EV makers are desperate!!! No one is buying !!!111”
The fact that sales increased almost 2x from 2012 to 2013, mostly thanks to BEVs, was totally hidden by this narrative.

So now, Honda wins the Olympic gold medal for “World’s most anti-EV major automaker.” Silver probably goes to Fiat/Chrysler.

They will live to regret this “accomplishment”. We will schandefreund on and elsewhere.

*putting on my smarty-pants*
“schandefreund” could be translated with “shamefriend”.
I’m sure you meant “schadenfreude” -> getting pleasure out of the misfortune of others

Besides that, I agree 🙂

Schande means disgrace, not shame, “Scham” means shame.



Honda brand added to banned list.

Absolutely +1

+1 more, both Honda and Toyota were on the top of my pick list previously, having owned a MY2000 Insight and MY2003 Civic Hybrid, then long dreaming for a day to trade in my old car for a Prius. Finally came the days to test drive a Prius, tested the other EVs and PHEVs (and EREVs for those that must make that distinction) on mass market and the Prius got thrown out quickly. Now, given the Honda / Toyota compliance BEVs, both are on the VERY bottom of my list.

Shameful for a professed “enviroment friendly” major auto company to not have a full BEV available.

So Honda is betting on fuel Cells also? Did you know that Ca offers TWICE the ZEV credits for a FCV than an EV? Ca rules seem to be to the detriment of the EV movement. I think we can also blame Ca policy for a lack of interest on GM’s part in expanding Voltec.

My understanding is that a Fast Refueling FCV gets 9 points and a “100 mile” EV like the Leaf gets 3 points. That is TRIPLE not TWICE.

Shows how poorly the ZEV credit system was designed. And even Tesla got credits for exchangeable battery packs and the large packs on board. Both are not necessary for EV adoption and build-out (let along the expense to the customer).

Give one credit per non-gas vehicle produced. Per car. Makes it fair. It is very typical for one driver to be driving one EV or CNG or FCV at a time on their commute – and in CA, in the HOV lane.

watched these makes since their beginning in U.S. Loved Hondas, Hated Toyerta’s for Many years.
Honda=Toyota, no difference, other than marketing style. see also BMW vs Daimler, Ford vs Chevy.
see also, marketing.
Toyota believes in FC, decries EV – you’re surprised that Honda follows?

“Ca rules seem to be to the detriment of the EV movement”. You have to be kidding, right? There would be no EV movement at all in the US (possibly the world) right now with out California setting the stage in the late 90’s and now. Sure, there have been mistakes and better ways now that we can look back, but I give California ALL the credit for making these cars possible.

Sorry, feel better now…

By killing off the FIT EV and the Honda Insight (and probably the CR-Z) I hope that gives them some room to work on a better plug-in car whether it be a really nice plug-in hybrid based on their drivetrain used in the Accord PHEV or some new BEV. They have to see the writing on the wall, they must have something in development.

It will be interesting to see what Honda does with the cars when the leases start coming to an end. I imagine that there will be a significant number of current drivers that will want to extend the lease or purchase it at the end. However, my understanding is that there is no buyout specified in the original lease and unless Honda makes a new offer the cars must be turned in.

The other big disappointment about this car to me was that it was the first to use the Toshiba SCiB lithium titanate chemistry, for which despite its relative low specific energy I had high hopes in view of its phenomenal cycle life and alleged great tolerance to heat and cold.

I say alleged as evidently in spite of the specs on the Toshiba website the actual performance of the battery pack in the cold has been surprisingly poor:

That is strange considering the specs for the battery, which should be a great deal more tolerant of cold than the LMO in the Leaf:

The Fit EV was NOT the first to use Toshiba SCiB batteries. The i-MiEV was — JDM market — for their smaller, 10kWh battery pack. This was in 2011.

That one slipped my mind.

There does not seem to be a rush to use them amongst automakers though! 😉

Dear customer,
You, like many more than expected of our potential customers, have been patiently waiting to purchase or lease an electric vehicle from Honda. But we’d rather you gave up waiting and dropped in on one of our competitors, we hear the Spark is good, you may want to try that, or the Leaf, or even the Kia who may be capturing some of our market share soon.
Best Regards


Honda you suck.

History repeats itself when we learn nothing from it. It’s interesting to see Honda pull what GM did, to their EV-1. 🙁 Sad.

Honda already did the same thing as GM with the EV Plus. I had had one until they took it away and shredded it. Same thing they are going to do with the Fit EV I’m sure.


to be crushed when they come off lease?

Shredded- like the Honda EV’s in Who Killed the Electric Car movie :(…

If they crush them, they should be fined by California, the Federal government, and any government in the world that gave them a cent’s worth of incentive to make those EVs.

Agreed 100%!

+1. The Fit EV sure was fun to test drive, with traction control off it wouldn’t be a wimp, would rip up the tires. The electric motor was nice and ‘loud’ relative to others.

“Honda’s experience with wait lists is that they eventually subside, though this appears to not be the case for the Fit EV.”

What does this mean? We will outwait you, so you may as well not even get on the list for this popular model of our car, since we won’t sell you one anyway?

Imagine Tesla writing such a letter. “Tesla’s experience with wait lists is that they eventually subside, though this appears to not be the case for the Model S.”

Tesla wouldn’t be in business much longer if they tried to get their customers to just go away….

I’m sure Honda has a back-up EV plan. They had better have one because I don’t think their fuel cell cars are going to sell as well as they think.

I thought one of the goals for compliance cars were to encourage automakers to test out on the field, see the market and demand for themselves so they will decide whether they’ll continue to sell the Zero Emissions vehicle to the area or beyond. Most critics keep hammering how no one would buy EVs and that automakers are obliged to spend money on developing a car that no one buys. We all know that’s talking soft and that these compliance regulations are an opportunity to introduce more Alternatives and not just for select Californian areas. 1,100 units and they threw in the towel, all despite the roaring demand. There should be no reason to close production and walk away! If they’re that unpassionate for their own cars, what will happen to spare parts or when the 3 year leases are up? They don’t hide any of its opinions on electric cars, along with Toyota, Fiat and Hyundai too. (Kia would be excluded considering that they don’t need to introduce an EV until 2018.) We’re not the biggest fans for Hydrogen here, but will they behave the same way towards Hydrogen as they did for EVs? That’s just bad play and… Read more »

The problem is that Honda overshot the price reduction. They did not have to reduce the price as much as they did to balance supply and demand. If they had gradually changed the lease deal like Toyota does with the RAV4 EV, they would not be in the situation that they face now where demand is way above their pre-determined supply.

It will be interesting to watch Toyota and Honda struggle for Hydrogen Fuel Cell customers when that is their only way to get their ZEV credits short of buying credits from Tesla.

What does this mean for their California ZEV requirements?

Nothing really, they are pretty much good through 2017 atm.

Hi Jay. This is what I don’t understand. If the ZEV credits are worth very little right now and most of the mfgr’s have enough, then why is Toyota (and Honda) pursuing the FSV? The FSV seems like a CARB play. Maybe Toyota and Honda are expecting a change in the CARB rules to strengthen the ZEV credits???

You could be right on the expectations on change, and there are certainly changes coming. But there is also a lot of R&D dollars coming into play recently ‘back home’ in Japan and Germany driving the tech atm (as opposed to the void now in America in favor of plug-ins), so a natural outlet for some of those projects to hit the streets is in California where they get a +1 on manufacturer benefits.

The answer to your question is obvious.
Toyota and Honda are not doing the FCEV as a CARB play but because they think that is the way forward for cars.

Whether they are right or not is an entirely separate issue.

Both have spent a lot of money on the technology, and Honda was for years the only one you can actually lease.

People who think that BEVs are the only way forward are simply ignoring what is plain, that Honda and Toyota, and Honda, think that FCEVs are the best way.

Since they refuse to accept this obvious fact, all sorts of strange and nonsensical rationalisations for their actions are invented.

PS Both Honda and Toyota were developing fuel cell vehicles way before CARB was ever thought of.

Yes Dave. I’m not stupid. I know that Honda had the FCV program in Ca where you can lease one….but I’m not so sure the answer is obvious.

You asked:
‘why is Toyota (and Honda) pursuing the FSV?’

I made no allegations of stupidity.
I simply said that the answer is obvious, as the obvious reason is that they think that FCEVs are a good way of powering transport.

That’s right . . . they’ve had a fuel cell program for over a decade but they still have pretty much nothing to show for it.

And it is not clear that either Toyota or Honda think that FCEVs are the best way. Both companies have sold an order of magnitude more plug-in vehicles than FCEVs.

Toyota alone have spent perhaps a billion dollars or so on fuel cells, which is odd behaviour is they didn’t think that they are the best way forward.

They have also repeatedly said so, which presumably counts for something.

FCEV’s…. too big to fail…?

(Maybe it’s time to stop throwing money at it)

Lots of people ‘threw money’ at BEVs for around a hundred years before they reached take off, so it seems premature to give up on a whole field of technology which is already proving itself in fields as diverse as materials handling, back up and clean electricity generation, and home electricity supply.

BEVs were dominant in the early days of automobiles. But when automatic starters and cheap ubiquitous gasoline became available, BEVs died out for many decades.

It is only recently due to the combined pressures of oil depletion, advanced Lithium-Ion batteries, and the threat of climate change that has brought them back. Oil depletion and climate change are helping FCVs as well but the technology is still a bit too expensive and the lack of infrastructure hurts.

Sadly, nothing changes. Seems like ‘Who killed the electric car’ all over again.

The big companies don’t want to make BEVs. They really want to wait out the CARB rules and hope they can wait it out until they’re repealed. With the exception of Nissan, all the other major manufacturers are doing the minimum they can. GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Kia, BMW, Mercedes, VW.
FCV is a joke. They must know hydrogen will never work. Another ploy to wait it out until CARB they can convince CARB it won’t work.

If it hadn’t been for CARB, we’d have no BEVs.
If it wasn’t for Tesla, they’d all give up.

I haven’t figured out why Nissan seems so committed to it. Hope they succeed. Nissan and Tesla are the only hope. Still seems pretty tenuous.

Hold it right there! You are throwing the baby out with the bathwater in your general condemnation of big auto. While you might not like what GM and BMW did, they have expended a lot of resources and are committed to the plugin segment. Yes, large companies can have an approach which can be perhaps best described as schizophrenic, but any large organization will have to reconcile competing internal groups and interests, while sorting out market signals and regulatory changes.

Ford, as well, are doing a pretty good job of pushing PHEVs off dealer lots and into customer hands.

They are definitely not high on our “most admired EV maker” list, but they are taking this seriously. And every 20-mile EPA PHEV that gets used a lot in commute and errands, saves a lot of CO2 and introduces its drivers to the EV world.

VW, too, seem to be getting into the game pretty strongly. See the story here from today about skyrocketing orders for the e-Golf.

Then there’s China’s BYD, who have wisely made an early move into the electric-bus market, and are beginning to reap the rewards. As long as the world economy doesn’t tumble again, things are looking up for EVs, while Honda has been on a long downward slide which (to judge from this decision) will likely accelerate.

Agreed, Assaf. Several coworkers purchased a Ford plugin hybrid, and transitioned the majority of their commute miles to electric. Good points on the other automakers. I can confirm from my own experience that VW/Audi is getting quite serious about this market segment.

George, remember Honda & GM have a partnership on FCEV’s. I think everyone is hedging their bets. Well… everyone except Tesla. LOL

Here’s an article on it and also mentions the Army as a possible silent partner.

“The GM Honda Fuel Cell Partnership
The new collaboration between GM and Honda is described as a “long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop next-generation fuel system and hydrogen storage technologies,” and the matchup promises to deliver on its self-imposed time frame of 2020. Between the two of them, GM and Honda rank first and second in total fuel cell patents filed in the ten years leading up to 2012, adding up to 1,200 different patents.

Aside from patent filings, the two companies have also been building up a body of real-world experience.

GM has piled up almost 3 million miles of fuel cell driving for its 119-vehicle fuel cell fleet under the long running Project Driveway program, and Honda began leasing its FCX sedan ten years ago in the US and Japan. Honda launched a successor in 2009 called FCX Clarity and already plans a third iteration of the vehicle for 2015.”


Thanks for pointing it out.

GM will be rebranding and selling the Nissan NV200 van. I suspect they will also resell the e-NV200 van as an electric.

They better not!

No, Honda isn’t killing the electric car. They are killing Honda’s future role in them, yes. But Telsa alone has given the world a truly remarkable. no-compromises, BEV car and a thriving car company based on that car. Based on that alone, the BEV has a lot of life in it. Other car companies are following behind with real (i.e. non compliance) offerings. The EV is here to stay.

I think Honda and Toyota really do see hydrogen as the future. They have invested heavily in FCEVs. Corporate inertia makes it hard to throw away that much investment. What engineer or manager is going to say “hey I spent 10 years on this problem and we will never solve it, we should do what our competitors are doing”? If they can build FC technology based on a fuel that is stable at room temperature then it might be possible. But hydrogen, not gonna happen…

+1 on the Tesla comments. Honda underinvests in this market at its own peril. You and Elon are right about hydrogen.

I think it’s unfair to lump GM in with Honda or Chrysler. The Volt has more all-electric miles in America than any other car.

Complain about the engine if you like, but I’d say the Volt’s role in eliminating range anxiety does more to actually put electric miles on the odometer than anyone short of Tesla.

True, but it’s still not a ground-up PHEV platform. If it was, they’d have a smaller engine, 5 seats, and more power.

I also don’t buy GM’s assertions about cost. I think they decided to chase profits as opposed to volume, only bringing down price when forced to by the competition (and even then doing a poor job of advertising it). You can find LiFePO4 batteries for $300/kWh, so after tax credit, the pack should be better than free.

We’ll find out more about GM’s commitment when their next generation Voltec is revealed, but going forward it seems like VW is more committed to PHEV (through Audi and Porsche).

The argument about what the Volt “should” have would be a lot more convincing if it’s competitors weren’t all worse at it.

The LEAF has 5 seats, but no engine, an air-cooled battery, and runs the battery from 100%-0% (Volt only runs from 80%-20%). The PiP and Ford Energi line all have 5 seats, but can’t even travel at highway speeds on battery and have much worse range (it’s totally impractical to drive any of them without using gas). The i3 can’t even drive at full power in REx mode. And all of these (save the LEAF) were developed after the Volt.

So where is the competing product with 5 seats, a smaller engine (= better MPG economy?), and more power? It’s hard to criticize GM for not meeting a standard that no one else has met, either.


Well said.


It would have been fun if some big car market state/country came with their own CARB rules or something like that, forcing Honda to keep going.

Well, there are many states that adopt the CARB rules, NY being one of them. That counts for something. 😉

I think that other states can only do that, or the federal EPA rules. They have no ability to make a third set of rules. The only reason why CARB is allowed to override the EPA rules is because CARB pre-dated them, IIRC.

This will make it easy to track Fit EV sales 😛

Totally a sidetrack, but I find the Honda executives and reps in the US some of the nicest/easiest to get along with people in the business.

That being said, we all wish terrible things on them now…(j/k)

What a freakin’ mess. (Meaning Honda’s absurd decision, not the article or the responses to it above.)

Honda and Toyota will both need a neck brace when they eventually make a 180-degree turn at highway speed and give themselves whiplash. They will be back to EVs, and likely sooner than they think, once the competitive balance favors EVs over HFCVs by an even greater margin. And by then they’ll be competing with who knows how many EVs from other companies.

Essentially, companies like Toyota and Honda are betting very heavily that batteries won’t improve in cost/benefit ratio AND that they can get over the cost and infrastructure hurdles for HFCVs. That might be one of the dumbest bets since New Coke or Windows 8.0.

By the way — anyone interested in a little number crunching re:cars is invited to check out the pre-release version of a presentation, “3 Civics and 7 Leafs”, that’s part of my Climate Change Bridge project:

If they wait out 400 Wh/kg batteries, and then utilize them in new projects, then they have something. I think they all believe that customers cannot get past the “must be a big fuel tank – ie. battery capacity” or nothing. Of course, more kWh on board, the better. 50+ would be nice if it was cheap enough and small enough.

Just a few years ago, I thought Honda and Toyota were ahead of the game for clean vehicles. For a while they were literally the only two companies selling hybrids in the USA. But now they are both falling WAY behind. I expect all of the green and/or high-tech customers to start flocking to Nissan, Tesla, BMW, GM, and Ford.

However, I expect Toyota has a better Prius PHEV in the works. That’s at least something. Honda doesn’t seem to have anything in the works. I’d like to give them credit for the Accord PHEV because it has an impressive drivetrain, but the range is pitiful.

The range is pitiful and the trunk is barely useable. But it really does drive well.

With battery technology and pricing where they are right now, BEV’s are BARELY viable in the economy car segment. And they wouldn’t be viable at all if it weren’t for the fed and state governments boosting the heck out of them. Under a certain lens this means they are not viable yet.

Whenever it is POSSIBLE to do 150+ miles in a BEV that costs 23k off the lot without incentives, that is when BEV’s will officially arrive. Until then we can’t expect companies to keep putting them out there at a loss, or nearly so, just because we want to drive them.

Pray the Spark can hold on and get rolled out to the rest of the country. With its torque, price and range, it should work as well or better than the Leaf. But if it dies off or never gets rolled out, we have to believe it was not in GM’s best financial interest to go all in with this generation of tech as well. Where is the fault in that?

To those thinking Honda’s mind is on actual FCEV success, I think they are basically asking “how many mpgs is enough”, expecting that consumers won’t bother discovering the economics of that other stuff (electricity). In the paradigm of ‘MPG’, 50 may indeed be though of as “enough”.

Well, I will just have to take my next EV purchase elsewhere. Good day, sir.

Gee, here I thought the “customer was always right” – what went wrong? It couldn’t possibly be the Free Market – it never fails!

I don’t get the vitriol of some of the commenters. The plan was always to make 1,100 units and stop. It was well know that the FitEV was a compliance car. This car did not sell well with a $10k govt subsidy plus any loss the company took to produce the vehicle. It only started to move when Honda gave another 5k on the lease plus ~2k of incentives. As the CARB requirements ramp up, there will need to be a more efficient business model. IDK what that will be, but agree with Honda, that this current model will not be it. The govt subsidies and loss on product will not scale. As a business they need to figure out a way to minimize their losses they will take with the CARB requirements. Maybe it is FCVs. Maybe it is BEVs. They will figure that out as they lose money in the process. I don’t think this is any indication that they won’t have a BEV 5 years from now. All that being said, I currently lease a FitEV and love it. I wish I could keep it, but know that I can’t. I also don’t feel entitled to a… Read more »