Honda delivered its first coporately-leased all-electric Fit EV back in December 2010 to the city of Torrence, California, one month after announcing it at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Since then, Honda has continued deliveries of its Fit EV to fleet customers, but at the start of last week, nearly nineteen months after the first Fit EV hit the streets, it still hadn't delivered a Fit EV to a private customer.
That changed on Friday, when Honda successfully delivered the first privately-leased 2013 Fit EV to a couple from Southern California.
According to its official press release, Matt and Becky Walton, from Ventura County, are long-time Honda fans, having driven various Honda cars since the mid 1970s.
They plan to use the Fit EV as their primary car, making longer-distance trips in a 2012 Honda Odyssey.
Fitted with the same 92 kilowatt motor found in Honda’s FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, the 2013 Honda Fit EV can give some pretty punchy performance.
With an official EPA-approved range of 82 miles and gas mileage equivalent efficiency of 118 MPGe, the four-seat Honda Fit EV is also the most efficient electric car available today.
Thanks to its built-in 6.6-kilowatt charger, the compact hatchback charges from empty to full in under 3 hours, half the time it takes to charge the 2012 Nissan Leaf.
But despite its impressive figures, the 2013 Honda Fit is a “compliance car,” a vehicle built to ensure Honda meets California rules requiring sales of a certain number of zero-emission vehicles.
As a consequence, Honda will only make 1,100 Fit EVs in during 2013 and 2014, and lease them to customers for $389 per month for three years.
There’s another catch too: Honda is only making the car available in select parts of California and Oregon, and is vetting every single would-be Fit EV driver to make sure his or her lifestyle is suitable for the Fit EV.
And that’s a shame, because when we drove the Fit EV earlier this year, we said we’d likely choose it over a Nissan Leaf.
That’s if we could buy one, of course.