While Toyota is busy with a new “family” of Prius models, across the show hall Honda is pushing hard to show a wide range of electrified vehicles of its own. From hybrids to full plug-in electrics, the Honda booth is full of green vehicles.
The easiest way to jump on this so-called green bandwagon is to convert an existing model, much like Mercedes has done with the SLS AMG E-Cell. In Honda’s case, rather than go for excitement, they are going downtown. In other words, they have taken the funky little Fit and stuffed it full of electro-technology. With a range of just 100 miles, most potential buyers of this car would be downtown commuters who don’t travel far each day and enjoy the ease of parking that a small car offers.
Like the Mercedes, the Fit EV concept shows that performance does not have to suffer just because a car is green. In fact, the Fit EV is said to have a top speed of 90 miles per hour and, when in sport mode, displays acceleration much like the gasoline-powered version. Not exactly quick, but perfect for scooting about town.
The FIT EV concept was first shown at the LA Auto Show in November. We’ve got the Honda press release and video from that show, along with more photos from Detroit, after the break.
Honda Press Release:
The Fit EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter and utilizes the same 5-passenger layout found in the popular Fit hatchback. When the Fit EV production model is introduced, it will be powered by a lithium-ion battery and coaxial electric motor.
The high-density motor, derived from the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, delivers excellent efficiency and power while remaining quiet at high speeds. The Fit EV will have a top speed of 90 mph.
The Fit EV will achieve an estimated 100-mile driving range per charge using the US EPA LA4* city cycle (70 miles when applying EPA’s adjustment factor). 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.
A special meter display advises the driver when to shut off air conditioning and other accessories to conserve battery power.
To help the driver manage the electric vehicle ownership experience, the Fit EV will have a standard connectivity system that allows the driver to stay connected through a smartphone and personal computer, or the Honda-exclusive interactive remote, while away from the vehicle. The pocket-friendly, interactive remote provides connectivity to the vehicle without the need for an internet connection or mobile phone signal. Through the connectivity system, drivers will be able to remotely view the vehicle’s state of charge, initiate charging and activate the air conditioning, even while connected to the grid, to reduce the drain on the battery at start-up. The mobile application and website also offers the ability to set charging notifications and alerts to optimize utility rates, and provides 24-hour roadside assistance, along with a public charging station locator. The Fit EV will come equipped with a standard Honda Satellite Linked Navigation System™ that includes a public charging-station locator capability.
The Fit EV is designed to be easy and convenient to charge. Battery recharging can be accomplished in less than 12 hours when using a conventional 120-volt outlet, and less than six hours when using a 240-volt outlet.
The Fit EV Concept displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show features an exclusive Deep Clear Blue Pearl exterior color and distinctive five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with blue inserts. The Concept has unique LED headlights, a chrome front fascia, aerodynamic bumper, clear LED taillights and EV decals. Inside, the Fit EV Concept is outfitted in an eco-friendly gray bio-fabric on the seating surfaces.
Displayed alongside the Fit EV Concept at the show is a prototype Honda charging stand. To begin charging, the driver swipes a card in front of the screen and then connects the charger to the vehicle. The Honda charging stand provides a glimpse at the future of an electric-charging infrastructure that is easy to use and intuitive for consumers.