Honda Thinks a Small, Cheap EV Is Just the Right Fit


2018 Honda Fit Sport 6MT in Orange Fury - Image: Honda

You’d be forgiven for not remembering the Honda Fit EV. Hardly a Bolt or Leaf, the short-ranged electric was available for lease in California for a very brief time; some 1,100 examples arrived on U.S. shores between July of 2012 and October of 2014.

Right now, the only way to get into an electric vehicle bearing the Honda badge is to move to California or Oregon and take out a pretty decent lease on a Clarity EV. That could soon change, as Honda plans to build a successor to that early electric. Yes, it will still use the Fit as its muse.

According to Nikkei Asian Review (via AutoGuide), a tie-up between honda and giant Chinese battery producer Contemporary Amperex Technology will bring us another Fit EV, or at least one based on it. This could be the start of a long-term relationship, too. Both companies plan to work together on a number of initiatives, including the development of other future vehicles.

The plan targets affordability over anything else, with driving range taking a backseat to price. This is apparently key to Honda’s global ambitions for the model.

Expected to be introduced in early 2020 (in both EV-hungry China and other locales), the Fit-based model, which may or may not emerge as an actual Fit, will sell for the Chinese equivalent of $18,000. The automaker hopes for a range of 300 kilometers per charge, which works out to 186 miles. That’s not terrible, and it beats the range of existing low-priced EVs. You can expect 151 miles of range from a 2018 Nissan Leaf and 124 miles from the Hyundai Ioniq.

It isn’t known if North American customers will see the vehicle. Honda expects to build 100,000 of them a year, which is a pretty hefty number, though the Chinese market appears limitless in its desire for cheap green cars.

In March, Honda confirmed production of its cute Urban EV, a retro-styled four-seater looking like a futuristic vision from the ’70s. At this point, the model is only confirmed for Europe, with a launch date expected in late 2019.

[Image: Honda]