Honda has announced through its EV sales division that the Fit EV model year production will end early, with production of the last of the 2014 Fit EVs this fall.
[UPDATE: Honda North America subsequently clarified that Fit EV production will end on schedule this fall, not "early." Honda added that the Fit EV program will continue through the end of customers' three-year leases; the Fit EV is not offered for sale.]
Posted by a member of the Honda Fit EV Drivers Facebook group, Honda confirms that deliveries of the Fit EV will continue at around 40 units per month until early this fall.
At that point, Honda will have fulfilled its self-set quota of 1,100 units over two model years.
The letter reads:
Thank you for your email and your interest in the Fit EV. Honda dealers received a significant increase in customer interest in the Fit EV when we announced the updated lease program in June. As a result, many dealers are maintaining lists of customers who want to lease the Fit EV. Most are reporting that their list is quite long.
Honda introduced the Fit EV with an announced volume of 1,100 units over two model years. The 2014 model year will end early this fall, marking the end of production of the Fit EV. Honda will continue to produce and distribute to authorized Fit EV dealers about 40 Fit EV's per month until that time. While I understand your request for clarity about the timing and/or likelihood of leasing the Fit EV, it depends on a variety of factors such as customer ability or desire to wait for the car that are beyond our ability to predict. Honda's experience with wait lists is that they eventually subside, though this appears to not be the case for the Fit EV.
Thank you again for your interest in the Honda Fit EV.
Sales of the Fit EV took off last June when the company announced a lower lease price for the model, and many dealers quickly found themselves managing waiting lists for the car.
According to Honda's notice, the waiting lists haven't subsided--and the company isn't able to predict whether those who want to lease a Fit EV will actually be able to do so before production ends.
But even with healthy demand, Honda had no intentions to produce any more Fit EVs than are required under California's zero-emission vehicle requirements.
The state requires manufacturers of a certain size to sell or lease a certain proportion of zero-emission vehicles--and the Fit EV is Honda's way of meeting those requirements.
Honda has been entirely honest that it will lease only the required minimum in a handful of states--specifically, 1,100 electric cars over three years--making the Fit EV one of a handful of "compliance cars", vehicles only sold to meet California's requirements.
It's not yet clear how Honda will meet the California requirements starting in 2015. It could produce another electric vehicle to replace the Fit EV.
But, like Toyota, the company seems far more intent on producing hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, including a successor to its FCX Clarity sedan, first launched in 2008.
That's a shame, as we found the Fit EV to be a nicely-judged little electric car when we tested it back in mid 2012. It drives well, it's essentially as practical as any other Fit, and has a decent 82-mile EPA-rated range.
When Honda stops production later this year, it is likely to leave at least a few disappointed customers--perhaps more than a few--unable to get their hands on one.
[UPDATE: Honda North America said, "While we do not have any announcements at this point regarding future products, the Fit EV and our customers are playing a valuable role in providing feedback and key learnings into our ongoing research and development of electrified vehicles."]