May 30, 2013 / 3:05 PM / 5 years ago

Honda slashes electric Fit EV lease price by a third

DETROIT, May 30 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co on
Thursday slashed the lease price for its electric-powered Fit
subcompact car by a third a week after General Motors Co 
set pricing for its new Chevrolet Spark EV.
    Consumers have been slow to gravitate toward electric
vehicles (EVs) as a result of their high cost and fears about
driving range, but automakers continue to develop technology
because it is seen as a primary driver in meeting rising
fuel-efficiency requirements globally. Electric carmaker Coda
Holdings filed for bankruptcy this month.
    Honda said on Thursday that consumers can now lease the Fit
EV, which was introduced July 2012, for $259 a month over three
years beginning June 1 with the first month's payment due at
signing. That is down from $389 a month. The car is only
available through a lease.
    GM last week said it 2014 Spark EV, which goes on sale next
month in California and Oregon, will sell for as low as $19,995
after accounting for the full federal tax credit of $7,500. The
U.S. automaker said the car will lease for as low as $199 a
month for 36 months with $999 due at signing. 
    Ford Motor Co's larger Focus Electric leases for $284
a month with $929 due at signing, while Fiat's small
500 EV leases for $199 a month with $999 due at signing. Nissan
Motor Co's larger Leaf electric car leases for $199 a
month with $1,999 due at signing.
    Honda's lease for the Fit EV includes unlimited mileage,
routine maintenance, collision coverage and 240-volt EV home
charging equipment excluding installation.
    "Now it's the only EV on the market with no down payment,
unlimited mileage, collision coverage and a free home charging
station," American Honda vice president Steve Center said in a
    The Japanese automaker said the new lease price and
unlimited mileage also will be applied to existing Fit EV
    Honda, which has leased 174 Fit EVs in the United States
since its introduction, also said it will expand the number of
dealers that carry the car to more than 200 by the end of June
form 36 in January. 
    The Fit EV can be leased at dealers in California, Oregon,
New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and
Connecticut. It also is available in Japan.
    The Fit EV has a driving range of 82 miles when fully
charged as estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
and its fuel economy is equivalent to 118 miles per gallon on an
EPA-estimated basis. The Spark EV's respective figures are 82
and 119.
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