2010 Honda Fit EV Concept
Let’s face it: Google loves its green cars. Its also home to some of the best tech-savvy engineers in the world. Engineers who love their tech and love to innovate.
So what better way to put a new electric car through its paces than make it part of Google’s GFleet - a pool of cars the Internet search giant makes available for its employees at its Mountain View headquarters in California.
That’s exactly what Honda is planning. Less than a week after it unveiled its 2012 electric Fit at the 2010 LA Auto Show, the largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines in the world is sending its first all-electric car since the EV-Plus to get the Google treatment.
But is this just a publicity stunt from Honda? After all, aren’t the cars are just destined to become part of Google’s large fleet of pool cars, one of the many perks available to Google employees alongside laundry facilities, childcare and domestic assistants?
You see, Google isn’t new to electric cars. Its co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are also on the list of investors at Tesla Motors, makers of the renowned Tesla Roadster.
And in 2007 Google launched RechargeIt.org - a project founded to help research,develop and build plug-in vehicles.
Google funding development of plug-in hybrids
Honda’s involvement in the ongoing Recharge.it program will follow a similar path. The Fit EVs heading for Mountain View will be fitted with the same data harvesting modules found in the 30 hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars already owned by Google.
Google will then assist in analysing the data gathered from the cars, providing Honda with real-world data to quantify just how the Fit EV performs outside of Honda’s own test-regime.
The Honda Fit EV also features smartphone connectivity, so expect Google to work some of its magic with integration between car, mobile devices and perhaps even the desktop version of google’s operating system, Google Chrome.
For a long time, Honda remained very cool towards the electric drivetrain. But after a change in CEO the company has become more positive about the future of electric vehicles within Honda.
Let’s not forget too that at a time when virtually every automaker is keen to bring an electric car to market powerful allies like Google do wonders for publicity and reputation.
We can’t wait to see how the Fit performs. What it lacks for in size the small car certainly gains in versatility and in our own Bengt Halverson gave the gasoline 2010 Honda Fit a solid 8 out of 10 earlier this year.
If the 2012 Honda Fit EV can provide the 100 miles of range promised and actually brings the car to market we think the 2011 Nissan Leaf may have just fount its first real rival.