Honda has begun delivery of its all-electric Fit EV to its first clients, namely Google, Stanford University and Torrance Ca City Government. These are the first Fit EVs available to the public, which is well in advance of public sale for the units.
These first units would be part of a demonstration program aimed to provide feedback and research in the use of the Fit EV that can be used by the Japanese automaker for future developments in electric cars.
Torrance California was chosen as part of the demonstration program as it is the base of operations for Honda USA. The electric vehicles would be passed around city departments, such as parks and recreation, water and others to determine whether a city with an all-electric city fleet would be feasible. Another aspect of the program would be educating the general public and increase awareness about electric vehicles together with an evaluation as to the possibility of having a complete infrastructure for electric car charging within the city.
For Google, the Fit EV would form part of the G-fleet, the company’s car-sharing program that uses alternative fuel vehicles. The data and information gathered regarding multiple drivers on the Fit EV as to their feedback on the vehicle would then be forwarded to the carmaker.
Stanford on the other hand would use the car for behavioral research. The Center for Automotive Research in Stanford would outfit the Fit EVs with electrodes to measure human reactions as to the adoption of new technology with the car’s noises and alerts, such as low power warnings for the Fit EV while there would still be standard Fit cars to be part of the research.
The availability of the vehicle would expand to the East Cost by the spring of 2013. There are no sales but only leases available, with a term of three years costing nearly $400 per month. The lessees would need to go through a vetting process whether the applicant’s lifestyle would be fit for an electric vehicle. Factors under consideration would be the distance traveled commuting and if a charger would be installed at the owner’s home.
The Fit EV uses the design of the internal combustion engine Fit hatchback. The car debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November 2011. The car is powered with a 92 kilowatt electric motor using a 20 kilowatt per hour lithium ion battery. The car’s driving range, combined city and highway driving, is 76 miles on a single full charge.