Expected Driving Range of 186 miles
According to a report by the Nikki Asian Review, Honda is teaming up with Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), the world’s largest battery maker, to develop an electric vehicle. The new car will be based on the Honda Fit (also known as Jazz in some markets) with a targeted price of $18,305.
Little is known about the car, but the publication reports it will have a driving range of 186 miles in an undisclosed test cycle. Even if the real-world range is more like 125-150 miles, at the price of a low-end hybrid, the Honda Fit EV would match the range of the current Nissan Leaf, while undercutting its price by a wide margin.
The Fit-based EV will reportedly be launched in China by the first half of 2020 with other global markets to follow. Honda is aiming to sell more than 100,000 units annually, but there’s no word on whether or not the car will be offered in the United States.
More Joint Work
Honda plans to work with CATL in other areas as well, including electric vehicle performance testing, production technology and battery specifications. The automaker hopes to work with the Chinese company on future electric cars.
Recently CATL has been amassing contracts from leading vehicle manufacturers, including BMW, Daimler, PSA and Renault.
Although Honda is currently behind other leading automakers with electric cars, EVs are not new to the company. The Honda EV Plus was manufactured between 1996-1999 as a compliance car (not unlike General Motors’ EV1) to satisfy California Air Resources Board clean air requirements that forced auto manufacturers to make a portion of the vehicles they sold in the state to be zero-emission.
The Honda EV Plus was noteworthy because it was the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from one of the major car companies to feature a nickel-metal hydride battery. Production of the Honda EV Plus was halted in 1999 after approximately 340 EV Plus models were produced and Honda started producing its first hybrid electric vehicle, the Honda Insight.
Fit EV Redux
Also, this isn’t the first Fit EV. The previous Fit EV debuted in 2011 with a 20-kilowatt lithium-ion battery and a 123 horsepower electric motor. The electric vehicle could travel approximately 82 miles on a charge. It too was a compliance vehicle and the company only leased (none were offered for sale to consumers) around 1,100 units in the U.S. due to the model’s high price of $36,625 and limited driving range.
Currently Honda offers the Clarity EV (as well as the Clarity PHEV and FCEV—fuel cell electric vehicle) in California and Oregon as a lease-only vehicle with a driving range of just 89 miles, just seven more miles than that first Fit EV.
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