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L.A. Auto Show: Honda unveils Fit EV, available in 2012 [updated]

Honda marked the global debut of its new plug-in electric Fit on Wednesday. The Fit EV, equipped with lithium-ion batteries and capable of traveling 100 miles per charge, will be available to customers in 2012.

"Great utility and fun to drive," Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito said. "These are hallmarks for the five-passenger Honda Fit. That's what makes this a pefect fit."

The Fit EV motor will use a motor derived from the FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle and "can be directly applied to the Fit EV," he said. The Fit EV will have the driving feel of a car with a 2-liter gas engine, Ito said. [Updated 11-17-2010, 4:44 p.m.: A previous version of this post said the motor was the same as the one used in the FCX Clarity.]

The Fit EV will use the same three-mode drive system Honda introduced on its sport-hybrid coupe, the CR-Z. The normal mode allows customers to get maximum range and maximum performance. In "econ" mode, battery range increases up to 17% compared with normal mode.

The battery is expected to fully recharge in less than 12 hours with a household 120-volt wall outlet. A mobile app and web site will allow drivers to set the car's charging schedule to the best utility rates, locate charging stations and provide 24/7 roadside assistance. [Updated 11-17-2010, 4:44 p.m.: A previous version of this post didn't include charging time or detailed mobile app information.]

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: Honda's Fit electric concept car was unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show; Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

 
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