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Honda's Fit EV will be a rare sight on American roads for at least the next few years

Auto manufacturers are starting to warm up to the idea of electric vehicles to boost their CAFE numbers. With the Obama administration looking to set a 54.5 mpg CAFE average by 2025, many auto manufacturers have no choice but to offer EVs, hybrids, and diesel vehicles to stay in compliance.
The latest auto manufacturer to jump on the EV bandwagon in the United States is Honda. The Japanese auto giant previously revealed a concept version of its Fit EV back in late September, but now the company today revealed details on the production model at the L.A. Auto Show.
The Fit EV has a price tag of $36,625, compared to $36,050 for the Nissan Leaf and $39,995 for the Focus Electric. However, there are a few caveats to consider. First of all, the Fit EV will only be available for lease at a cost of $399 per month. Secondly, the vehicle will only be available in California and Oregon starting next year, and will expand to just six additional cities on the East Coast in 2013. Finally, Honda is only projected to produce a total of 1,100 Fit EVs during the next three years.

For comparison, Chevrolet sold 1,108 Volts during the month of October alone -- Nissan sold 840 Leaf EVs during October.

Honda Fit EV at the L.A. Auto Show [Source: Honda]
"The Fit EV is the next critical step in Honda's portfolio approach to alternative fueled vehicles," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "There is no other automaker on the planet whose spirit is more deeply invested in the effort to realize a cleaner, more energy-efficient and ultimately more sustainable transportation future than Honda."
Honda says that the Fit EV has an EPA city cycle range of 123 miles. The city/highway combined range drops to still potent 76 miles. The vehicle can fully recharge its battery pack in about three hours with a 240V charger.

Source: Honda

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Holy Sh$t
By Reclaimer77 on 11/16/2011 11:03:18 PM , Rating: 2
I mean let's just be honest here, $36,000 for THAT? We all knew CAFE would drive car costs up, but never before have so many been asked to spend so much, for so little.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By luv2liv on 11/16/2011 11:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
they should pay me.
i can make it much much more uglier for half the price!
and i thought the Nissan Leaf was ugly.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Souka on 11/19/2011 4:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
Wow... $36,000 for an electric car? WTH?

a regular ICE Fit costs $15k-25k...

Maybe prices will come down.... but geeezzzzz

RE: Holy Sh$t
By cruisin3style on 11/17/2011 12:01:44 AM , Rating: 1
never before have so many been asked to spend so much, for so little.

by so many you mean 1,100, right? This is an electric vehicle...not the toyota camry or ford f-150. Complain when everyday sedans go up in price, not now.

or did you mean to reply to the F-35 article? ;)

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Spuke on 11/17/2011 12:17:21 AM , Rating: 2
Complain when everyday sedans go up in price, not now.
They HAVE been going up in price and are going to go up even more.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By lelias2k on 11/17/2011 8:47:30 AM , Rating: 2
There's a little thing called inflation that most people forget about.

Also, cars nowadays are much more equipped, accessories and safety wise.

There are no miracles in capitalism. :)

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Spuke on 11/17/2011 9:41:08 AM , Rating: 3
Except that inflation hasn't gone up 60+% like car prices have been in the last 10 years. Inflation accounts for ~24%.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Iaiken on 11/17/2011 10:37:51 AM , Rating: 1
Spuke, stop making up numbers to support your false assertions.

1. The gross aggregate inflation for the last 10 years was ~30%.

2. A 2011 model has a lot more to offer in the way of standard equipment than a 2001 model.

3. The MSRP of similar cars (2001 Camry vs 2011 Camry, etc) has only risen by an average of 21%.

4. The invoice price (what cars are actually being sold for) has only risen by a paltry average of 14.5%.

In conclusion, you're a lying moron.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By mcnabney on 11/17/2011 11:52:46 AM , Rating: 2
You really aren't looking at the price honestly.

The Fit is a $15k car. Subtract the cost of the engine, exhaust, fuel system... and add the cost of a battery, electric motors, and electronics. The car SHOULDN'T cost this much. It should only cost about $10k more assuming a big and expensive battery. The replacement of the existing powertrain for electric motors and electronics will be a wash. Honda is riping off the customer by effectively chargine $20k for a $10k battery.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By AssBall on 11/17/2011 12:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
He's kind of got a point there. Why pay more than double for a worse performing car?

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Chadder007 on 11/17/2011 12:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
You are shouldn't cost this much. Honda and other manufacturers are using the Government tax rebate to sell and profit more off of these cars instead of really trying to get them into the market.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Putradude on 11/18/2011 12:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
yes it's still too high but don't forget that R&D cost must be absorbed on low volume sales. That's pushing the cost higher by more than the cost of the battery pack. Once the sales volume will grow up, price will go down.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Mint on 11/17/2011 12:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
That's fine, but what does that have to do with the lies that Spuke said about general car price increases and the facts that Iaiken laid out to dispute them? Car prices for equivalent vehicles are going down, not up.

All that said, a 20kWh battery and a 92kW motor shouldn't add $20k to the price, especially when Honda can save the engine and transmission. Honda is trying to maximize profit here rather than go for volume.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Iaiken on 11/17/2011 1:12:15 PM , Rating: 2
I am looking at it honestly by looking at the passenger cars that actually matter...

Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, Corolla, Toyota Camry, Mazda 3, VW Jetta, Ford Focus, Hyundai Accent, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Versa, Nissan Altima, and the Kia Forte together make up ~75% of all passenger car sales (excluding minivans, trucks, SUVs). As such, these are the ONLY cars that actually matter when discussing market-wide factors such as pricing vs inflation over time. Why? Because they ARE the market.

Most of the remaining ~24% is made up of either market flops, low volume players or luxury cars. Inflation doesn't factor into luxury cars in particular because their cost is a reflection/product of their exclusivity. Cars like the BMW M5 or 6-Series sell for over 20% markup, even the more mass-market 3-Series is marked up by 10-15% depending on the model. Lastly there is that <1% of cars to which is composed of specialty cars like the Honda Fit EV, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S etc.

The fact of the matter is that the ridiculous price of the Fit EV is not an exception that disproves the rule. In the grand scheme of the market, they won't matter at all. If you want to be peeved about Honda pocketing tax credits by jacking up the MSRP on these specialty vehicles, that is an entirely different argument altogether. Regardless, most people won't buy them, but will instead continue to buy the cars that already make up the majority of the passenger car market. Meanwhile, the people who CHOOSE to to overpay for a Fit EV can afford to pay the premium and probably won't care.

My point was that spuke's assertion that "car prices have gone up 60% vs 24% inflation" (paraphrased) is categorically and demonstrably false on both the point he was trying to make and the figures he was using to support it. ie. He is a liar.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By twhittet on 11/17/2011 3:27:21 PM , Rating: 1
Agreed. People like to bitch and whine a lot, but car prices have NOT gone up as much as they could have, and manufacturers are constantly being driven by competition to keep the prices low while giving more and more features (and HP typically).

I picked up a used 1993 Chrysler Concorde in college, and found the original MSRP sticker ~$23,000. 19 years later, and I can still buy a pretty decent car for $23,000, with quite a few standard features, plus safety and other features that were not available or dreamed of in 1993.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Gungel on 11/17/2011 12:14:56 PM , Rating: 2
You can't buy the car anyway, it's available only through a lease of $399 per month for 3 years. The MSRP is just symbolic.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Mint on 11/17/2011 1:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
Honda's lease calculator (which I apparently can't link to since it turns my post into spam) says that a $16k Fit comes out to $300/mo.

$399/mo is break-even at around 1000 miles per month. I think it'll be pretty easy for Honda to find 1100 people that drive more than that...

RE: Holy Sh$t
By mcnabney on 11/19/2011 12:14:43 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, no. A loaded 2012 Fit costs $240/mo on a 36 month lease.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By mcnabney on 11/19/2011 12:16:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, to get to $399 you have to buy a $32k Ridgeline.

RE: Holy Sh$t
By Samus on 11/17/2011 3:55:34 PM , Rating: 2
Makes the Volt look like the bargain of the century.

By someguy11 on 11/16/2011 10:04:30 PM , Rating: 2
If they are so "deeply committed" to the environment, why are they only producing 1,100 of these things?

Seriously, I'd love to entertain an electric vehicle but the price is just currently for those who want a hobby.

BTW - my first post to an article ever!!!

RE: Committed?
By retrospooty on 11/16/2011 10:47:18 PM , Rating: 1
cafe standards is why. Its a fleet average requirement. For example, if you had a car company with only 2 cars, 1 SUV with 20mpg and a car with 60mpg, you would have a fleet average of 40mpg. Now they may sell 1 million SUVs and only 1000 of the car, but the average fleet mpg is still 40mpg... This is how they are doing it. Govt in action LOL

RE: Committed?
By Spuke on 11/16/2011 10:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
Except that CAFE has nothing to do with the actual fuel economy averages.

RE: Committed?
By retrospooty on 11/17/2011 6:26:48 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I didnt realize that CAFE didnt have anything to do with "The C orporate A verage F uel E conomy "

RE: Committed?
By Spuke on 11/17/2011 9:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't. Read on it or just simply pay attention to the numerous threads on this subject. It ALWAYS comes up.

RE: Committed?
By retrospooty on 11/17/2011 11:18:43 AM , Rating: 2
Whatever, I was answering doods question as to why they make these cars. OK, its not because of CAFE, its becasue of the govt's requirements regarding cafe. No need to get pedantic.

RE: Committed?
By Dr of crap on 11/17/2011 9:06:08 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, the math says that you would be right.
But even today there are "credits" that make the CAFE numbers of a car company change from what the mpgs of the cars it makes. So the math doesn't quite work out as easy as you think.

And here's how I see this. The car companies will make cars such as the Fit EV, just to make the CAFE numbers. Knowing full well they won't sell many of the EVs, but damn they made the numbers they needed to.

The public will decide which cars sell, no metter what the CAFE numbers say.

RE: Committed?
By Keeir on 11/17/2011 4:20:37 PM , Rating: 2

That's not how CAFE works.

#1. CAFE is SALES wieghted. This means Automakers have to get you to BUY the car, not just design and make it.

#2. CAFE is a HARMONIC mean. This limits the effects of small numbers of high MPG cars

CAFE is not every effective. If gas prices go up, manufacturers race to produce cars that exceed CAFE. CAFE is an articial bottom to the market. Instead of allowing consumers to choose the cars and fuel efficieny they value, CAFE forces a minimum on the situation which will be enforced by the manufacturers or result in penalty. Essentially CAFE restricts the choices of the poor/middle-class (ironically the group most in favor of CAFE).

RE: Committed?
By Dr of crap on 11/18/2011 12:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
Do you deny the fact that car makers get "credits" for certain things that do not pertain to the mpgs of the cars they produce?
And these credits are added to their FLEET average for CAFE.
Once again laws from our govt that are skewed and hard to follow.

RE: Committed?
By Keeir on 11/18/2011 4:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
Your a bit all over the map.

Yes, all sorts of strange credits/etc are introduced. But the effects of credits due to the Fit Electric will be very very small due to the very small number of Fit Electric versus Honda CRVs sold. Thats the way it is. Honda is not producing the Fit Electric for some CAFE reason. I believe they are ABOVE the CAFE rating right now.

The question about CAFE really ought to be more about what is accomplished:

CAFE raises fuel economy --> Mixed. Yes CAFE kept the average fuel economy of cars sold above certain thresholds. But CAFE does very little to keep people moving up... and the only way automakers have to adjust thier average sales figures is to play with prices. This fundamentally hurts choice.

CAFE is a good political tool --> Excellent. CAFE standards make it look like the Government is doing something, increase government spending, and give politicians something to be lobbied over. Yet the Government has no responsibility on getting to CAFE levels! Perfect!

CAFE is the worst. If the US as a country wants to move towards more efficient automobiles, they have to be willing to open thier pockets and buy them. Raising the price of gas is the single most effective means to accomplish this... but of course no one wants to pay a tax! They would rather pay higher prices for the automobiles they want.... yay?

It's the CAFE stupid
By mrkcohen on 11/17/2011 9:18:47 AM , Rating: 2
Electric vehicles are all about pumping up auto manufacturers CAFE numbers. You'll know the car companies are serious about electric cars when they implement a standard battery pack that can be swapped out in a matter of minutes with a fully charged pack so as to make "re-fueling" as simple as stopping at a gas station

In the meantime electric vehicles are niche vehicles meant for people with short commutes and with enough disposable income to afford another car for longer trips, but mainly, as stated above to pump up CAFE numbers to meet the letter (not spirit) of the law..

RE: It's the CAFE stupid
By Mint on 11/17/2011 12:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with this theory is that low volume sales barely make a dent in CAFE numbers. Unless I'm missing something, it's the harmonic mean of all cars sold, not models offered.

This is more about Honda trying to milk the enviro crowd and test the market for future decisions.

How about efficiency numbers?
By semo on 11/17/2011 6:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
Where are the Wh/km or the Wh/mile stats? If this was an ICE car announcement, the MPG or l/100km would probably have been mentioned.

By btc909 on 11/18/2011 10:49:43 AM , Rating: 2
I'll guarantee I won't be one of the 1100 in the next three years.

Pretty sweet little machine...
By jharper12 on 11/25/2011 2:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
Lease price is about $100 a month too high. Fantastic recharge time for that range! Based on your average consumer's driving habits though, I see no reason to go with this instead of a Volt for $350 a month and $2,500 down. Pretty cool though, looking forward to test driving this one. IMO better than the Leaf, but not competitively priced vs. the Leaf.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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