I’ve finally come to a decision on what my next car will be. When I first started writing this blog, I thought for sure it was going to be the CODA. A month or so later, I was hooked on the Focus Electric and was sure that was the car for me. A month later, the Honda Fit EV came out, but I wasn’t even considering it at the time. After hearing more about the Fit EV from Peder Norby and Matt Walton. I decided to test the Fit EV (see previous posts) and the car reminded me so much of the MINI E that I was hooked. It was love at first drive. Here are the main reasons for my choosing the Fit EV (in no particular order):
The Fit EV is an extremely affordable vehicle. The lease is $389 per month, which seems like a lot at first. But taking into account the fact that there is no down-payment and that Honda is letting us take the $2,500 CVRP rebate, it’s a great deal. After CVRP, it’s$317 per month. Ford and Nissan both said that I could take the CVRP rebate (some friends on facebook said that the dealerships took it when they leased the vehicle), both the Focus Electric and LEAF were $100 more per month (with no down payment) than the Honda Fit EV.
As I said before, the Fit EV drives a whole lot like the MINI E. The acceleration is about the same up to 45 or so mph. Above 45, it’s not quite as quick. I have heard that the range is almost eerily similar to that of the MINI E, which is great because I had no problem going 100+ miles in the MINI E. The Fit EV is based on the same platform as my current car (Honda Civic Hybrid), so I am already comfortable with the dimensions of the vehicle and the way it drives (though the EV has a lower center of gravity, so it drives a little nicer).
The Fit EV is the most efficient passenger car on the market. The Fit EV is rated at 29kWh/100 miles, or 118 MPGe (not that that number means anything to anyone). That beats the previous most efficient car, the Mitsubishi i, which is included on my comparison page. But why does efficiency matter among EVs, the most efficient vehicles in the world? Let’s start with range. Because of its efficiency, the Fit EV will go an EPA estimated 82 miles per 20kWh charge. The Nissan LEAF, for comparison will go only 60 miles on 20kWh (or 72 miles per 25kWh). This increase in efficiency means I can drive farther and cheaper. The CODA Sedan, for instance is only 5.5¢ per mile, but the Fit EV is 3.5¢ per mile. Over the 3 year/36,000 mile lease, that’s $720 in fuel saved.
Additionally, higher efficiency means that the car can have a smaller battery pack, which takes less time to charge. At 6.6kW, the Fit EV takes 3 hours to charge from empty to full, which is nearing the MINI E’s 2.5 hour charge. A short charge time is convenient, not because I’ll be sitting waiting for the car to charge, but because I will be charging at work where we share charging stations. The faster I can get out of there, the sooner someone else can plug in.
No car is perfect, and there are some things that I have to give up by leasing the Fit EV over another car. For starters, the Fit EV is lease only. In this case, I’m okay with it. I think after the three year lease period, there will be a much better EV selection. The only issue with the lease is that the Fit EV is a limited production vehicle, so it has taken some work to apply for the car. Luckily I’ve been approved and Honda is going to be building my Fit EV soon! Unlike the MINI E, the Fit EV lease does not come with too many restrictions. I have been told that this is just like a normal lease; you can tint the windows, wrap the car, put stickers on it, whatever. Honda will probably still track the car and download drive data from it, but that’s part of the program and I’m fine with it.
The interior of the Fit EV is not nearly as nice as the Focus EV and not quite as nice as the LEAF. It is nicer than the MINI E, which is one area where the MINI E really needed improvement. Unlike the MINI E, the Fit EV has the basics that the MINI E didn’t have, such as nav with backup camera, bluetooth, and USB and heated seats (which are a must in any EV). The Fit EV has quite a bit of road noise, so the interior is a little louder than that of the LEAF, Focus and Volt. Check out the interior of the Fit EV.
Finally, the Fit EV doesn’t looks as nice as some of the other cars. I don’t particularly like the look of the LEAF, but I would have lived with it if there was something else about the car that I loved. I think the Focus EV and the CODA sedan look pretty good. I think the Fit falls somewhere between the LEAF and the Focus EV in terms of styling. And while I would prefer a white car, the Fit EV’s blue is unique (it’s exclusive to the EV!) and kinda cool.