Honda Fit EV Heads East While Nissan Leaf Simply Shrugs

The small Honda Fit EV, with its EPA combined city/highway estimated driving range rating of 82-miles, of late has only been available for lease in California and Oregon. Those who have been clamoring (?) for one of this small electric cars along the Eastern seaboard can now climb into one as well via plans by the automaker to release them in selected markets in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey.

Though we can’t imagine there’s a huge demand for it, Honda seems to think at least a few folks will be willing to throw down a lease payment of $389 per month over a three-year term, coming out to a MSRP of $36,625. That is pretty steep for a small EV like this, especially when you hold it up against the Nissan Leaf, who’s entry level model is pricing around $28,800. When modified by select federal and state tax credits, it can take the Leaf price down as well by a nice $10,000.

Honda Fit EV (image copyright EarthTechling)

Honda Fit EV (image copyright EarthTechling)

One other zinger as well for those leasing one of the Fit EVs – you have to return the car when your three year period ends. That’s right – after ponying up a little over $14,000 to Honda you don’t get the option to buy the electric vehicle after it is all said and done. Kinda makes you wonder why Honda is bothering – cough, cough, compliance car, cough.

Now if we seem a little sarcastic when it comes to the Fit EV, do understand first we like what the vehicle has to offer in terms of green car road specifications, including a combined adjusted EPA mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 MPGe and an energy-consumption rating of just 29 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 miles. What we aren’t so thrilled on is the fact Honda isn’t allowing buyers the option of keeping the all-electric Fit on the road after it is at the end of the day. It seems mostly just like a half-hearted attempt by them to meet emissions regulations guidelines in certain states.

Under the hood the Fit EV  is an electric drivetrain which features a 20-kilowatt-hour lithium-Ion battery and a 92-kilowatt (123 horsepower) AC synchronous electric motor that generates 189 ft-lb of torque. This powertrain is teamed to a chassis with a fully-independent suspension and a driver-selectable 3-mode drive system.

Honda notes the car also comes with an onboard charger that allows the vehicle to be plugged into any household-type 120-volt outlet  or an available 240-volt AC power supply. When connected to a 240-volt circuit, the Fit EV battery can reportedly be recharged in less than three hours from a low charge indicator illumination point.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.