Honda Fit EV is coming back

Honda Fit

Some of us still remember the 2014 Honda Fit EV which was available to lease in California and had an EPA range of 82 miles (132 km) powered by a Toshiba battery. The American version didn’t have ChaDeMo fast charging capability, but the Japanese version did.

Back then, it was a good electric car with better range and efficiency than the Nissan Leaf. Unfortunately Honda didn’t push EVs and the Honda Fit EV was discontinued.

 

The good news is that now, Honda is teaming up with the Chinese giant battery cell maker CATL to bring the electric Honda Fit back with 300 km (186 miles) range and a price of 2 million yen (15.509 €) in 2020.

Currently in Japan the Nissan Leaf has a starting price of 3.150.360 yen (24.455 €) and the hybrid Honda Fit starts at 1.847.880 yen (14.342 €).

Anyway, many things can happen in two years and I’m sure that Nissan will have more affordable electric cars by then. Since 2016 Nissan is considering the introduction of an electric supermini to sit under the Leaf.

Furthermore, Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance recently said that 300 km range is enough for electric cars, now the goal is to make them affordable. Therefore it’s not surprising that now Honda is saying that it’ll sell an electric car model with 300 km range for 15.500 euros…

I completely agree with Ghosn, because currently the only solution to buy real affordable electric cars is the used car market.

Which automaker do you think will be the first to achieve Ghosn’s goal of selling an affordable (below 20.000 €) electric car model with 300 km range?

 

 

More info:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Honda-to-tie-up-with-world-s-largest-battery-maker-in-China

https://forococheselectricos.com/2018/05/honda-firma-un-acuerdo-con-catl-para-el-desarrollo-de-un-coche-electrico-economico-objetivo-300-km-de-autonomia-y-15-000-euros-de-precio.html

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. If Volkswagen wanted they could upgrade the battery to twice the current size in the e-up and lower the price, but that will probably never happen, Volkswagen isn’t known for making affordable cars.
    Maybe the electric Seat Mii or even the electric Skoda Citigo could achieve that.
    On the other hand, when you write 300 km, what kind of km are you referring to NEDC, WLTP or EPA?

      1. I read an article that VW will upgrade the battery of the e-Up later this year, if they double it, the e-Up should have about twice the current range, which would mean about 320 km NEDC. If Skoda talks about a 2019 model they really should be referring to WLTP as that would be the range measure at that time. The question is however if the price will be below 20.000 Euro, I don’t think anyone has mentioned a price.

      2. That’s quite possible Lars.

        Currently, the Volkswagen e-up uses 25 Ah PHEV2 battery cells made by Sanyo/Panasonic, but Samsung SDI will produce 50 Ah battery cells with the same size already this year in Hungary.

        However, I don’t know if the upgraded Volkswagen e-up will keep using the MQB platform, or move to MEB, just like the ID to share components and cut costs.

        https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2017/12/30/48467177-15146714191470246_origin.jpg

      3. Hi Pedro,
        VW actually uses NSF (new small family) platform for UP!, e-UP!, Citigo and Mii cars. So those cars are not based on MQB. And I am quite sure that they stick with this platform or rather die in near future. The problem is that ICE versions do not helping with fleet emmisions limits.

        I think that VW is still thinking what to do with this platform. From my perspective I see two options.
        1) End of production for the whole NSF platform
        2) Electrifiing of all three cars (already in progress) on actual NSF platform and stop producing ICE versions. As you write they are actually using 25Ah cells and they can easily scale the battery box capacity with 37Ah, 42Ah or 50Ah cells from Samsung, Panasonic or most probably from CATL.

      4. A 55 or even 70 Ah cell would be nice in the e-Up. I do however not think that something like that will happen anytime soon. That would make the e-Up extremely more usable than the e-Golf and I don’t think that, VW will do that.

  2. Sono Sion will be first. Starting production in 2019:
    https://sonomotors.com/
    €20.000 incl. German VAT. 250 km REAL range, not NEDC range.

    1. Looks interesting. A small car with a tow hitch.

  3. This price level is what the market is waiting for.
    The market for cars at €15.000 with ICE will collapse in a few years.
    Demand will be higher than production.
    When production ramps up the price will drop even more. A BEV is cheaper not only to drive but also to produce then a ICE car.

  4. Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes again! That’s exactly what we need. As much as I love Tesla and as advanced everything is in their car and as good as the battery is, it’s WAY above my budget. And I prefer small cars that need little space and cost less insurance and have smaller and cheaper tires. So YES PLEASE! And don’t forget to sell the car in Europe as well and not only in China. The first one to sell such a car for that price will be overrun like blackfriday with a additional 50% off of every 50% off price…

  5. Pedro, what does Ghosn’s “guarantee 300+km” actually mean in real range terms?

    Range is a factor only when making a long distance drive, but these typically happen at continuous highway speeds of 113 to 120 kph. At these speeds an EV would need to have an EPA rating of 390 km in order to get a real world 300 km on the highway. Then, it’s only sensible to count 90% of the range, since you have to recharge at 10% SoC or higher anyway. So the EPA rating would in fact have to be 429 km in order for the EV to “guarantee 300” km of range for practical use. Then there’s the whole issue of real world recharging speeds, since many road trips are much beyond 300 km. Nissan has shown that it cannot do practical fast recharging, the kind you need for road trips. #rapidgate.

    Who can disagree that lower prices are better? Of course they are. But Ghosn doesn’t make any practical solution.

    I discuss all these questions in depth in my recent article https://evobsession.com/tesla-model-3-all-wheel-drive-version-an-outstanding-road-trip-ready-ev/, which I hope is useful. Let me know what you think.

    1. Ghosn said the following: “We have seen that consumers do not talk anymore about range or autonomy as long as you guarantee more than 300km”.

      As I understand it, he means that electric cars have to be advertised with at least 300 km of range, regardless of the test cycle. For example, the Renault Zoe R90 was rated with a 403 km range on the old NEDC, but Renault advertises it with 300 km of “real” range.
      This is for Europe and Japan. I recall Hiroto Saikawa saying that in the USA, buyers expect more range.

      https://www.renault.pt/gama/veiculos-eletricos/zoe/novo-zoe/fragments/att35bf5ca72a6c4900b704e92a3bb36440/Banner_ZOE_electric_days_FSPP.jpg

      I’ll read your article later, thanks for sharing.

      1. Pedro: I drive a Renault Zoe R90 with 41 kWh battery and it does not have a range of 300 km. When fully charged it currently shows 250 km range. In the winter at -10 to -15 degrees it has a range of 150 km and in the summer, now at 15 to 25 degrees it has a range of about 200 to 220 km. Like Maximilian Holland writes, you have to look at the range on the motorway at 110 to 130 km/h, because it is where you drive long distances. The Zoe is not for long trips, yes, I can drive more than 200 km before I need to recharge, but recharging the Zoe takes about 2 hours at a quick charger (22kW), more normal three phase charging at 11 kW takes 4 hours or more. Slow charging at 2,3 kW takes 25 hours. If I drive in the city at 50 or 60 km/h it has a long range, but if I drive in the city I don’t need a long range because I usually only drive short distances.

      2. Thank you Pedro, I will be grateful of any feedback on that article.
        I still think Ghosn is being a bit loose with reality, since as Lars says, the Zoe actually has 250-220 km range at best on the highway which is when you actually need it the most. I think all the manufacturers hide behind these unrealistic EPA and WLTP ratings (thankfully the terrible NEDC is being thrown out), and we have to convert their numbers every time they talk about range. Frankly I still think Nissan is still mainly taking a ‘compliance car’ approach, and is not sincere about trying to produce decent EVs, since they were very dishonest about the #rapidgate problem.
        Thanks to Lars for supporting my perspective with some real world experience.

      3. The LEAF is not a compliance car. Regardless of any shortcomings it might have, it’s clear that Nissan *wants* to sell as many of them as they can.

      4. In stead of all these different test cycles that do not really tell you anything, what wee need is to know is the range with our driving conditions. Wee need to know how far we can go on a charge at 120 km/h at 15, 20 and/or 25 degrees. How far we can get at 80 km/h at 15, 20 and/or 25 degrees and so on. Renault has a range estimator on their homepage, that is a start, the results do just not match reality.
        antrik: Maybe Nissan wants to sell the Leaf and maybe they are the company besides Tesla that wants to sell BEV the most, but I think that the Leaf is still too expensive and the range is still too low.

  6. Very excited about his news if Honda actually produce 100K of these. I think an cheap reliable daily driver will help a lot of people get over their range anxiety. I would also guess that Honda could sell double that amount at that price if they really wanted to.

    1. Also, what size battery do you think it’ll have, and what would be the EPA range if the quoted range is one of the super optimistic standards?

      1. For example, the Volkswagen e-Golf has a 301 km range in JC08, 300 km in NEDC and 201 km (125 miles) in EPA.

        By 2020, with the kWh price below 100 euros at the battery pack level, a 40 kWh battery would cost less than 4.000 euros. I think that 40 kWh is the sweet spot for affordable electric cars. I find hard to believe the 15.500 euros price tag for the Honda Fit EV, but 19.800 euros would also be great and more realistic.

      2. The trade off is always between battery size and charging speed. I rather buy a car that has 200 km of range and recharges in 20 minutes than a car that has 300 km in range but recharges in 1 hour. You don’t want to recharge every 50 km even it is only takes 5 minutes, but 200 km and recharging in 20 minutes would be acceptable.

      3. Thanks Pedro. I was thinking that it would be similar to the e-golf. Around 35kwh. Maybe if CATL has really improved the costs, then maybe 40. I also agree that 40 useable is a sweet spot for affordable but still-practical EVs.

        Lars, myself as well, on trips we rarely go more than 90 minutes before someone needs a break. But to be able to get 150km in the winter on 70% charge, the epa rating would have to be closer to 375km.

        My winter trips are rare enough though that I’d be fine with being able to go shorter distances before charging, if the charging is quick enough. And if they added enough chargers around here.

      4. Marcel: Let’s say you drive at 120 km/h, that would be 180 km in the 90 minutes, if I do that in the current Zoe I have to charge for two hours. I assume that the break you or someone else in your car needs does not need to be two hours. Driving for 90 minutes followed by charging for 20 minutes would be fine, there just isn’t any BEV that can do that besides maybe some expensive Tesla.

        So, either you have a BEV with a bigger battery that can drive all the way you want to go, or you need faster charging. With the big battery you still can take a break after 90 minutes, you just don’t have to and you can still charge your car during the let’s say 30 minute break you take, you just don’t have to.
        So, what we really need are batteries that can be charged a lot quicker. The 150 kW and 350 kW chargers that are on the way can only be used by expensive cars with big and expensive batteries. Let’s say you have a BEV with a 45 kWh battery and you could charge that to about 80% within 1/10 of an hour (6 minutes) at a 350 kW charger. For short distances the 45 kWh are more than enough and for longer distances you recharge the car for ever 200 km.

      5. Lars, yes I agree that batteries that can charger more quickly is probably one of the things that needs to be solved for EVs. (Sticker price and battery production getting scaled up are probably the most important issue though)

        My estimate was for a winter trip. For a summer trip, yes 45 kWh with decent charging rates would be fine. I calculate winter range this way: -8% avg degradation (the car won’t always be new, and this is worse for Leafs), -8% for snow tires , -12% for 105km/h compared to EPA range, -10% for cold temps, -10% for heater. If you have a head wind, it’s worse, but basically take 40% off the range. Then, because charging over 80% is too slow, and you don’t really want to go below 10%, the effective charger to charger range is ~150 km. Which is just enough to get from one charger to the next here. Maybe in Europe there are more chargers. So it would be 90 minutes of driving, then probably 1 hour of charging on a 40kw charger, so that driving to charging ratio isn’t great, and shows why Tesla is so far ahead of everyone with respect to long distance driving.

        For summer trips that driving to charging ratio goes down a lot, but having 70 kw or even 100 kw charging capabilities would make a big difference.

        I hope we get better chargers here in Canada , but I’m not holding my breath.

      6. The faster chargers of 70 kW or even 100 kW are of little use if the batteries can’t use them. Currently only the Ioniq EV can use more than 50 kW DC and maybe the Chevy Bolt/Opel Ampera-e, but most other cars can only use up to 50 kW. If you want to use faster charging you again need bigger batteries. The only thing that seems to be increasing at the moment is battery size, but not charging speed.

  7. Current EV range & charge speed are fine for average daily use if you can run an extension cord at home or work. You can rent an ice/hybrid for road-trips, or use plane/train/bus. If you did a lot of those then it might make sense to own/lease a plugin hybrid.

  8. Can people please stop this nonsense about renting an ICE car when needed? It is really time consuming for a family getting a rental car, unless you happen to live next to a rental car agency. No matter if you pick it up and drive it home before packing or go to the rental company with the EV, children, child seats and bags, it is a major chore. Then you have to do it in reverse when you come back. Taking the EV, even with frequent stops at the slow Chademo chargers is preferable. I once drove my 24 kWh Leaf a full 570 km in a day with a 4 year old in the backseat. Not fun, lots of stops for ice cream/charging along the way… An ICE rental admittedly would have been better. But, with my 40 kWh Leaf this would actually be a tolerable trip if the charging had been faster. And preferable to renting an ICE. So, I agree with Pedro that 40 kWh is sort of the magic limit for an EV. For cars as efficient as the Model 3 or Ioniq, it will be plenty.

    1. Henrik, renting an ICE works for me, and fortunately there is a rental place within walking distance of my house. It allows me to drive EV most of the time. There aren’t enough chargers to travel with my Leaf in Ontario, especially in winter. Only the real diehards do it. the Leaf also doesn’t fit enough cargo for our family camping trips, and it doesn’t have enough range to drive to the camping spots and back to the nearest charger anyway.

      An Ioniq would work better since it has much better highway range, but they have long wait times and I got a really good deal on the Leaf lease.

      I also exhibit at art shows, and that’s a a lot of gear, so I have to rent vans for that too.

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