Honda enters plug-in EV market
Honda unveiled the new Fit EV Concept electric vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. The concept vehicle is a strong hint at the all-electric production vehicle expected to hit the market in 2012. Honda also launched its plug-in hybrid sedan concept at the show. The Fit EV uses the five-passenger layout from the popular hatchback, and will incorporate a lithium-ion battery and a coaxial electric motor.
The Fit is expected to have a 100-mile driving range and a top speed of 90 mph. Drivers can stretch the range using the three-mode electric drive system: Econ, Normal and Sport. Econ delivers up to 17 percent more range than Normal, and 25 percent more than Sport.
In Sport mode, acceleration improves dramatically. Interactive coaching systems will help the driver maximize battery life. The driver can stay connected via application for smartphones and computers, or using the interactive remote control. On a standard 120-volt outlet, charging will take about 12 hours, and less than six hours when connected to a 240-volt charger.
Honda’s plug-in hybrid platform mates a 2.0-liter 40-cylinder engine with a lithium-ion battery and a 120 kW electric motor. On electric mode alone the hybrid will have a range of 10-15 miles in city driving and top speed of 62 mph. Fully recharging the battery by plugging it in will take about 2.5 hours on 120 volts and 1.5 hours on 240 volts. Production models are set to debut in 2012.