Honda Unveils the Fit EV Concept and a Plug-In Hybrid Platform

honda fit ev electric car photo

Photo: Honda

Coming to the US Market in 2012 (If All Goes Well)

Well, that didn't take long! I was recently writing about how Honda might be about to change direction and embrace electric cars, in good part because its new CEO is more excited about them than his predecessor. But I wasn't expecting Honda to have something concrete to show so quickly, yet today in Los Angeles, the company unveiled its Fit EV concept, which gives us an idea of what the production Fit EV should look like when it comes to the US in 2012. Read on for more details and photos.

honda Fit ev electric car photo

Photo: Honda

Some Technical Specifications

The Fit EV concept uses the same 5-passenger layout found in the popular Fit hatchback. The electric motor is based on the one used in the FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, top speed is 90 mph, and range is "estimated at 100-mile driving range per charge using the US EPA LA4* city cycle (70 miles when applying EPA's adjustment factor)."

honda fit ev electric car photo

Photo: Honda

A Car that Coaches You

Honda writes:

Driving range can be maximized by use of an innovative 3-mode electric drive system, adapted from the 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid. The system allows the driver to select between Econ, Normal, and Sport to instantly and seamlessly change the driving experience to maximize efficiency or improve acceleration. While in Econ mode, practical driving range can increase by as much as 17 percent, compared to driving in Normal mode, and up to 25 percent compared to driving in Sport mode. Acceleration improves significantly when in Sport mode, generating performance similar to a vehicle equipped with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

In addition to the 3-mode E-Drive system, the Fit EV will include several interactive coaching systems to assist the driver in maximizing battery range.

honda ev electric car photo

Photo: Honda

Plug-in Hybrid Platform

Honda has also announced a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) platform. It sounds a lot closer to the Toyota-type of full-hybrid system than Honda's IMA assist-hybrid system:

"In all-electric mode, the vehicle uses a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and a powerful 120 kW electric motor. The all-electric mode achieves a range of approximately 10-15 miles in city driving and a top speed of 62 mph. Fully recharging the battery will take 2 to 2.5 hours using a 120-volt outlet and 1 to 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet.

The vehicle can also run in a gasoline-electric hybrid mode, the platform features a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, i-VTEC® inline 4-cylinder, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT). An onboard generator adds to the battery powering the electric motor."

It's a bit late for Honda, but better late than never.

See also: Is Honda About to Pull a Nissan and Go Electric?

Via Honda

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