On Saturday Honda told existing Fit EV lessees they can have a new lease on life, as it were, with lease extensions including all pre-existing benefits at $199 per year – plus it’s offering new customers used examples of the now-discontiunued car at the same price.
Last July the automaker announced it would be bringing the EV’s program to an end but those drivers with Fit EVs now in their possession will not have to turn them back in at the end of their lease if they do not want to.
“Most Fit EV drivers tell us they love their vehicles, and many have requested lease extensions and this extended lease program is intended to meet their needs,” said Steve Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We’re very confident in how the vehicles are performing, and look forward to offering new and existing customers a chance to experience everything the Fit EV has to offer.”
Further, Honda will be making available used Fit EVs for $199 per month for those who want one.
The Fit EV began life in June 2012 with an MSRP of $36,625 theoretically attached though it was lease-only at $389 per month for three years. The lease rate accounted for the $7,500 federal tax credit and included unlimited mileage, routine maintenance and collision coverage. Originally it was launched in California and Oregon, but in February 2013 Honda said it would bring it to select East Coast markets as well.
It was then slashed to $259 May 2013 and this is the current rate.
Until now. Unlike the GM EV1 which General Motors recalled in the early 2000s and crushed, Honda is responding to popular demand and keeping the cars on the road for two more years.
It is still quite a limited pool of vehicles, and the extremely efficient 118 mile-per-gallon equivalent car was used largely as a data collection experiment by its maker which is more intent these days on fuel cell vehicles and hybrids.
The company like Toyota, sees more potential in hydrogen than batteries.
But it likes batteries to an extent too, and the Fit EV is eligible also for a solar charging installation from Solar City, Tesla mogul Elon Musk’s company which Honda is partnered with.