Google, Stanford University and City of Torrance to test 2013 Honda Fit EV

Article by Christian A., on February 17, 2012

Honda has delivered a fleet of 2013 Fit EVs to the City of Torrance, Calif., Stanford University and Google last week in line with the Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program. Participants will conduct tests and record their feedback for the automaker. Steve Center, vice president of the environmental business development office at American Honda, explained that the aim of the Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program is to better comprehend the opportunities and challenges associated with the battery-electric technology advancement.

He added that the automaker's experience as well as the feedback from Stanford University, the City of Torrance and Google will be "valuable" to the future introduction of battery-electric technology.

Stanford University will utilize the vehicles to test theories, which are recently developed, about the physical and psychological reactions of driving battery-electric automobiles and their difference when using gasoline-powered car.

On the other hand, Google will utilize the EVs in line of its G-Fleet, which is an employee car-sharing program featuring a range of plug-in automobiles. A part of Google's test will examine vehicle usage like energy consumption, miles per charge and carbon emissions.

Honda states that it hopes the research will aid the company to further comprehend the market's acceptance of battery-electric automobiles and the ways to overcome challenges regarding the adoption of new technologies. The 2013 Fit EV was launched at the Los Angeles motor show in November. The company has announced plans to lease the automobile to clients in Oregon and California this summer. An East Coast rollout is anticipated for the spring of next year.

Although compact, the basic engineering and design of the Honda Fit EV are similar to those of both the Fit and the Fit Sport. One main difference though is that it brings with it distinct styling cues with aerodynamic components being enhanced. With around 56% of its body making use of high-strength steel, it gets the needed stiffness without putting in additional weight.

Having an overall length of 162 inches, the Fit EV gives a hint as to the amount of space on the inside one can expect. Its wheelbase meanwhile measures 98.4 inches and by placing the wheels placed on the body envelope’s edges, it allows for excellent agility and ride quality. Cornering stability is improved with space on the interior increasing with the track that measures 58.5 inches on the front and 57.6 inches on the rear.

The main feature of the Fit EV would have to be the electric motor which is paired with the high-efficiency single forward ratio gearbox. It offers the 3-Mode Drive System with the default being the NORMAL mode and the ECON mode allowing for an enhancement in the range.

The third is the SPORT mode which helps with the responsiveness and thus makes the Fit EV a model that is more fun to drive. Regardless of what mode is chosen, the Fit EV makes use of the regenerative braking system which ensures that energy is brought back to its battery pack when the vehicle is either braking or decelerating. There is however the option for the driver to activate the B mode with maximizes the rate of the model’s regenerative braking.

Honda is offering with this vehicle interactive remote control that can manage the climate control system and the charging for a maximum range of 100 feet. Of course, this is assuming that the vehicle is already linked to a power supply. It is also possible to charge the Fit EV through a schedule to make sure that the lowest electricity rates are available.

This is done through Multi-Information Display or through the Honda Fit EV app for smart phones. Speaking of charging, there is an onboard charger which gives the Fit EV that capacity to be charged either through a conventional 120-volt outlet or even an AC power supply amounting to 240 volts.

Through the former, all that is needed is the portable charging cable with a full charge taking at most 15 hours. For the AC Level 2 240-volt supply meanwhile, it can be attached to the 6.6-kW double-power onboard charger with a full charge taking at most 3 hours. The 240-volt charging station can be purchased through the brand’s preferred supplier Leviton.

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