Honda today handed over the keys to its all-electric hatchback, the 2013 Fit EV, to the mayor of Torrance, California. The city will use the Fit EV as part of the Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program, which also will see Google and Stanford University testing the electric car.
The Fit EV uses a 20-kWh lithium-ion battery and 92-kW electric motor, with total driving range pegged at about 76 miles per charge. The Honda hatchback retains the fun, nimble handling traits of its gasoline-powered forbear, although the “magic” folding rear seat mechanism has been nixed to make room for the battery pack. Honda says the car can be recharged in as little as three hours with a 240-volt charger.
The Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program is designed to improve consumer awareness of electric cars, and to help Honda get real-world information about electric and hybrid car performance. Later this year, Honda will also provide the city of Torrance with a plug-in hybrid for early testing.
Google, Stanford, and Torrance are all supposed to use their Fit EVs for car-sharing, fleet purposes, and other driving scenarios. After the trial period is over, Honda will slowly roll out the electric car to the general public. Customers in certain parts of California and Oregon will be able to purchase the Fit EV starting in early 2013. The car is expected to cost $37,395 (including destination) or lease for about $399 per month.