Recently there’s been a lot of outrage online about Honda stopping production of the Honda Fit EV, despite the insane demand for the car. Honestly, I don’t understand why everyone’s so surprised. At the beginning of the program, Honda made it clear that they were only producing 1,100 Fit EVs and that they would only lease, not sell, the vehicles. Now that Honda has confirmed that they are stopping production at 1,100 units, people are upset.
I don’t get it. We already know that Honda made the Fit EV only to comply with California’s ZEV mandate. For this reason, I almost didn’t lease the car. I didn’t want to support a company that doesn’t believe in EVs. However, at the time my options were limited and the Fit EV was far better than any of my other options. After test driving the Fit EV, I couldn’t resist leasing it. (Honda has promised they will not crush the cars when the lease is up).
Some argue that the high demand for the vehicle is a reason for Honda to continue production. In Honda’s defense, there are a few problems with this. It’s hard to say how high the demand really is. Honda is only making about 40 vehicles per month. At those volumes, it’s not hard for demand to exceed supply. Additionally, Honda is surely losing money on this car. It’s a research program that is not meant to make them money, aside from avoiding fines that they would have to pay for not meeting the ZEV mandate. It does not make financial sense for them to lease more vehicles at the current price. If you recall, when the Fit EV first came to market it was $389/mo (which was still a steal when you factor in no down payment, $2,500 CA rebate, insurance, etc) and there was almost no demand for the car.The reason the Fit EV is in such high demand is that it’s a way underpriced lease with unlimited mileage.
Of course, I’d love to see Honda ramp up production of the Fit EV and make a real LEAF competitor, but did anyone seriously expect that to happen? At the end of the day, Nissan gets it, GM gets it, Ford gets it, but Honda continues to pour resources into hydrogen fuel cell technology.
If you can’t get a Honda Fit EV, check out the Chevy Spark EV, Fiat 500e (my mom just got one of these and it’s awesome!), and Nissan LEAF. They are all very similar to the Fit EV with their own unique differences. All four vehicles are worth a test drive if they are available in your area.