Google Takes Honda Fit EV On Educational Joyride

As if the folks at Google don’t have enough fun technology to play with, now they get to be the first to test out the new Honda 2013 Fit EV battery-electric vehicles. Honda recently delivered the cars to the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif., as part of its Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program. Googlers get to drive, test and provide feedback to Honda regarding the electric vehicles.

To make the arrival of the vehicle, 100 Googlers took the Fit EV for a spin, Honda said, but the real testing will come as the company uses the car as part of its G-Fleet, an employee car-sharing service that features numerous plug-in vehicles. Google will also analyze various aspects of the car including CO2 reduction, energy consumption on a miles-per-kilowatt-hour basis and overall energy cost.

Via Honda

And Google isn’t the only lucky demo team. Stanford University and the Torrance, Calif. are also participants in the program. Stanford’s research team will use both the battery-electric vehicle and a gasoline-powered Fit to test their theories about the psychological and physical reactions of using battery-electric vehicles and how they differ from driving a traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. The research is meant to help Honda better understand customer acceptance of battery-electric vehicles and how to overcome physiological obstacles associated with the adoption of new technologies.

“The goal of the Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program is to better understand the challenges and opportunities associated with the advancement in battery-electric technology,” Steve Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda said in a statement. “Honda has a long history with electric vehicles beginning with the introduction of our first battery-electric car, the EV Plus, nearly 15 years ago. Honda’s experience and the unique feedback that Google, Stanford University and the city of Torrance will provide will be valuable to the future introduction of battery-electric technology.”

If you’re interested in driving the 2013 EV Fit but don’t happen to work at Google or Stanford, you might be in luck. Honda has announced plans to begin leasing the 123 city-mile per charge, 1 battery-electric commuter vehicle to customers in select California and Oregon markets during the summer of 2012. Rollout to the east coast is planned for spring 2013.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.