LOS ANGELES -- The Honda Fit EV has been given a 118-mile-per-gallon equivalency rating by the Environmental Protection Agency, the highest rating of any electric passenger car to date.
Using a 20-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, the Fit EV has a total range of 82 miles in the combined driving cycle. The EPA has estimated the Fit EV's annual electric "fuel" cost would be $500, Honda said in a release.
The Fit EV has a 92-kilowatt motor that creates the equivalent of 123 horsepower, and which also generates 188 foot-pounds of torque. Honda says the Fit EV can be recharged from a low state of charge in three hours with a 240-volt connector.
Starting this summer, Honda is leasing the Fit EV to just 1,110 customers in limited California, Oregon and East Coast markets for a zero-down, $389/month lease for 36 months, basing calculations on a sticker price of $37,415, including destination.
The EPA rates the Leaf as averaging 73 miles per charge, lower than the Ford Focus's 76 miles and higher than the 62 miles for Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s i-MiEV. The Fit's availability will be expanded to other U.S. regions in 2013.
Automakers are adding electric and plug-in hybrid autos to their U.S. lineups to meet demand for vehicles that use little or no gasoline and to comply with rules in California.
Honda, Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC have to sell a total of about 60,000 such vehicles from this model year through 2014, and more than a 1 million annually by 2025.
Bloomberg contributed to this report.