The first of Honda’s electric hatchbacks has officially been delivered to the city of Torrance, California. Honda delivered a single Fit EV to the city of Torrance on Friday as the first step in the Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program, a prelude to the “retail market launch” of the Fit EV to customers (actually, only to lessees) in California and Oregon starting this summer.
Steve Center, vice-president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda, described the Fit EV hand-off, stating:
“This is an exciting day as we take another important step toward Honda’s comprehensive vision for reducing CO2 emissions while at the same time advancing our relationship with the city of Torrance… With Honda’s extensive experience and the real-world feedback from the city of Torrance, we will be even more prepared for the further customer adoption of electric vehicles.”
Honda unveiled the production-spec 2013 Fit EV at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and announced it will lease the 76-mile-range electric hatchback to US customers in the summer of 2012. Unfortunately, Honda has no intention to outright sell the car to the general public.
At some later point, the city of Torrance will receive a Honda plug-in hybrid for testing and demonstration purposes. The carmaker’s current plug-in hybrid drivetrain is designed to be fit to a mid-size sedan platform, with a range of 10-15 miles and a top speed of 62 mph in electric mode.
California has been a fertile testing ground for Honda’s advanced vehicle technologies, in part because its zero emissions mandate forces carmakers to sell a minimum number of qualifying vehicles there each year. In 2008, Honda began leasing its FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle to select California customers, including Hollywood stars like Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband, director Christopher Guest. No word yet on whether the Fit EV has picked up any celebrity drivers of its own.