5.06.2014

Why You Should Want A Honda Fit EV And Who Will Make You Crazy When You Get One


Front 3/4 view of the 2014 Honda Fit EV
2014 Honda Fit EV.


Your humble TireKicker would like to stipulate the following:

1: I like the Honda Fit.

2: I like the idea of electric vehicles in certain circumstances.

C: Indexing isn't my strong suit.

4: A Honda Fit EV should be a great idea.

If you sense a "but..." coming, well, yeah.  But it's not the car's fault.



Rear 3/4 view of 2014 Honda Fit EV
2014 Honda Fit EV.
The Fit is about as good as a subcompact gets.  The tall-roof wagonlike profile insures plenty of room for people and things.  The materials, fit and finish and ergonomics are all things Honda can be proud of.

The Fit EV's fuel economy is astonishing.  EV's are rated for the electric equivalent of fuel miles per gallon, and the Fit EV pegs the meter at 118 combined city and highway.  Broken out, it's 132 city/105 highway.

Interior view of 2014 Honda Fit EV
2014 Honda Fit EV interior.

It's so well thought out, so thoroughly the kind of car that Honda (which, as I've explained in this space before was, in terms of innovation, the Apple of the 80s) should be making that I didn't even flinch at the base price of $36,625 or the bottom line (with $790 destination and handling) of $37,415. If you're what they call a "well-qualified lessee", you can get a three-year $259 a month lease, which includes a 240-volt home charging station (installation and materials not included, but still).  And the out-of-pocket to start the lease isn't thousands of bucks...it's the first month's lease payment of $259.  Oh, and you can run in the carpool lanes in California even if you're alone.

What's not to like?

Other EV drivers.

Not just Honda drivers, certainly...in fact, we didn't run across any other Fit EV owners during our week behind the wheel in Sacramento.  No, the problem was the Volt and Leaf owners who hog the free charging stations in downtown garages and semi-suburban shopping malls. Near as I can figure (and there's a Fiat 500e owner in Folsom who is living this fact for the next few years and agrees), EV owners head for work and during their 8 hours in the office, plug the car in at the nearest free charger and walk away. A couple of hours is what they need, most likely...four max on these big beasts, but no...they hook the car up for 8...which means no one else can use the charger. Arden Fair mall has six 240-volt chargers.  Good luck getting one between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Whole Foods at the Palladio in Folsom has three.  I don't need to tell you how popular those are.  We're talking Whole Foods.

Apart from a terrific full, quick and free charge at the 14th Street parking garage in downtown Sacramento, most of our week was spent waiting, watching, realizing said Volt and Leaf owners weren't coming back anytime soon, and heading for Walgreens to use the lone pay charger.

Again, it's not a Honda Fit EV problem...in fact, word's starting to get out about "charger rage" at the Tesla SuperChargers scattered around the country for the same basic reason...too many cars, not enough chargers.  The fact that Honda throws in a 240-volt charger for the house may in fact make the need to visit public chargers fairly rare (I saw 100 miles range on the readout after the 14th Street garage).  But if you ever do, don't say I didn't warn you.

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