The 2013 Honda Fit EV has won the label of most efficient car sold in the U.S.
To review the specs of the Fit, its electric motor is derived from the one installed in Honda’s FCX Clarity fuel-cell EV and pumps out 123 hp and 189 lb-ft of torque. The motor is fed by a 20-kWh, air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack made by Toshiba. Range on the unadjusted, highly optimistic LA4 driving loop is 123 miles, but the adjusted EPA range on the window sticker should be closer to 76 miles. That’s based on a consumption figure of 29 kWh per 100 miles; the Nissan Leaf uses slightly more energy at 34 kWh per 100 miles.
The electric Honda’s 118 MPGe fuel efficiency equivalency rating is the highest ever awarded by the EPA, beating out the 105 MPGe Ford Focus Electric, 112 MPGe Mitsubishi i-MiEV and 99 MPGe Nissan Leaf. The Fit EV consumes just 29 kWh of electricity per 100 miles driven, which will cost the average driver about $500 per year.
The EPA’s MPGe rating is determined according to the energy present in a gallon of gasoline and converting it from BTUs to kWh — which arrives 33.7 kWh of electricity. Otherwise, the simulated highway and city driving dynamometer tests required by the EPA are the same for EVs and cars that run on gasoline or diesel.
Apart from its miserliness, the Fit EV’s 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack also gives it a decent total range — 82 miles, according to the EPA’s combined city and highway test cycle. That’s nine more miles than the Leaf and a full 20 more miles than the i-MiEV. It’s also six more miles than Honda told us the Fit EV would achieve in mixed driving when they unveiled the car at the LA Auto Show last November.
With its 6.6 kW charger instead of the 3.3 kW unit that most EVs use, the Fit EV also promises a full charge in three hours as long as you plug it in to a 240v outlet as soon as the “low charge” indicator comes on. No word on how long it takes to juice up from a totally dead battery.
Other interior modifications are more noticeable, such as the revised instrument cluster. In the EV, the rightmost pod houses a large battery-capacity gauge and two car gauges that indicate accessory draw: one for the HVAC system and one marked “others” for everything else.
In the middle is a digital speedometer with a smaller digital range indicator underneath; below that is a familiar Honda multifunction display. The left pod shows instantaneous energy flow, whether you’re using power or recharging. The Fit EV has three drive modes: econ, normal, and sport. In sport mode, the car’s electric motor unleashes more of its fury, and the availability of that anger is shown in the instrument cluster as an extended band on the power meter.
Fit EV production will be limited to 1100 cars available only in select U.S. markets.