Honda Fit EV Concept Shares Direction of Coming Model
Honda is one of those automakers that has always done more than its share to address environmental compatibility. When ‘environmental positioning’ was a popular more-talk-than action strategy in the auto industry a few decades back, it was often Honda stepping up to do something real – like introducing near-zero emission gasoline vehicles, offering an assembly-line produced natural gas sedan, and of course being the first to the U.S. market with a gasoline-electric hybrid. This hasn’t changed, although you wouldn’t necessarily know it because of all the noise out there in eco-land.
Recently, Honda unveiled its vision for the Honda Electric Mobility Network that included the Fit EV Concept, an all-electric hatchback that provides a strong indication of what to expect in the upcoming all-electric Fit EV model. Destined for the U.S. and Japan in 2012, the Fit EV will be powered by lithium-ion batteries and an efficient coaxial electric motor derived from Honda’s FCX fuel cell vehicle program.
The Fit EV will be designed to deliver a top speed of 90 mph and an estimated 100 mile driving range. That range can be optimized by driver input using a three-mode electric drive system adapted from the Honda CR-Z hybrid that allows choosing Econ, Normal, and Sport modes. Honda says that running in Econ mode can increase driving range up to 17 percent compared to driving in Normal mode. Selecting the Sport mode brings a significant acceleration boost that’s said to provide performance similar to that of a 2.0-liter engine.
Other measures are built in to help make the most of on-board power. For example, a display advises when to shut down air conditioning and other accessories to maximize battery life. When the time does come to charge, Honda says a fully depleted Fit EV can be ready-to-go in less than 12 hours when charged from a conventional 120 volt outlet and less than six hours using a 240 volt charger. To make charging convenient, the Fit EV will come standard with a Honda Satellite Linked Navigation System that includes a charging station locator function.
Electronics looms large in the Fit EV. It will come with smartphone and computer connectivity for remotely viewing state-of-charge, initiating a charge, and pre-conditioning the interior by activating air conditioning while plugged in. A pocket-sized Honda interactive remote will also provides connectivity without requiring a cellphone signal or internet connection.