The Environmental Protection Agency has just released its official efficiency ratings for the 2013 Honda Fit EV, and the car has vaulted to the top of the electric-vehicle heap. The Fit EV’s 118 MPGe rating (the government’s mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating for electric vehicles) is the highest yet for an EV — topping the Mitsubishi i EV’s 112 MPGe.
The Fit EV also bests the Mitsu with an EPA consumption rating of 29 kilowatt hours per 100 miles, edging it by one kilowatt hour. Completing the trifecta, the electrified Fit is also rated at an 82-mile city/highway range by the EPA, which tops the Nissan Leaf (73 miles/99 MPGe) and the Ford Focus EV (76 miles/105 MPGe). While electric rates vary across the U.S., the estimated cost to power the 2013 Fit EV has been pegged by the EPA at around $500 per year.
The Fit EV first debuted at last year’s 2011 Los Angeles auto show, and we got a quick drive in a prototype late last year. It is fitted with a Toshiba sourced, 20-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that sits that below the floor, with a max output of 100 kilowatts. A 92 kilowatt, high-density coaxial electric motor rated at 123 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque delivers the juice to the front wheels. The Fit EV will have a three-drive mode system similar to the Honda CR-Z hybrid: Econ, Normal, and Sport. Honda says the car will charge in as little as three hours when hooked up to a 240-watt setup.
The Fit EV’s connectivity system will allow owners to monitor state of charge, cabin temperature, turn on the air conditioning, and initiate and terminate charging remotely from their smart phone, personal computer, or an interactive remote. Honda’s Satellite Linked Navigation System with charging station locating capability and traffic information is standard. Honda estimates the Fit EV will be leased for $399 a month based on an MSRP of $36,625.
Honda says the Fit EV will also retain the same five-passenger seating and ‘magic seat’ cargo stowage setup as the gas-powered Fit.
But while Honda has plenty to brag about, one area where fellow EVs like the Nissan Leaf best it is availability. If you want the Fit EV soon, you’re going to be out of luck unless you live in couple of markets in California and Oregon for the balance of this year. Next year it will be rolled out to a handful of northeastern states. Honda says it will produce around 1100 Fit EVs in all over the next couple of years. It’s a cautious approach that will give Nissan and Ford especially plenty of time to establish market share and improve their present offerings. It remains to be seen if the Fit’s trumpeted advantages will offset its overall lack of availability.