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Honda Reported Planning for Fit Hybrid in FY2007

21 February 2006

Fit
The just-introduced non-hybrid 2007 US Fit.

Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that Honda Motor plans to start selling a hybrid version of its Fit subcompact worldwide as early as fiscal 2007 (April 2006 to April 2007). Honda said, however, that it has yet to come to a decision on a new hybrid.

The report said that Honda planned to add the hybrid model when the Fit (earlier post) is due for full remodeling. The current Fit series consists of models with engine displacements ranging between 1.3 and 1.5 liters. For the hybrid version, Honda reportedly is developing a 1-liter-class engine.

Launched in 2001, global sales of the Fit subcompact totaled 390,000 units in 2005, the third-highest tally among Honda vehicles, following the Accord’s 680,000 units and the Civic’s 590,000.

The report says that Honda is targeting fuel economy for the Fit hybrid comparable to the Insight and the Toyota Prius—between 55 mpg US (Prius) and 63 mpg US (Insight).

The Fit hybrid stands to become the first hybrid to be priced at less than ¥2 million (US$16,900), as Honda apparently aims to sell it for around ¥1.4 million yen (US@11,800), about ¥200,000 (US$1,685) more than the conventional Fit.

Toyota’s hybrids cost about ¥500,000 (US$4,200) higher than the gasoline-powered vehicles on which they are based. Honda wants to cut that price difference beween conventional and hybrid vehicles more than in half by developing a smaller motor and battery for the hybrid powertrain without sacrificing capability.

Honda just introduced the conventional version of the Fit to the US market in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

February 21, 2006 in Hybrids, Japan | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Fantastic. I can't wait for the Fit to hit the US market.

Alright, this is more like it. The gas only Fit in America was criticized for not getting good enough mileage. And it wasn't incredible, to be sure. But this will have insight like mileage (almost) with a whole lot more versatility and practicality than the insight ever had. And it looks better. And it's cheap for a hybrid!

I just wish Honda would move away more from giving the gas engines so much priority in the hybrid equation. If it was 50/50 gas electric ratio, or something like that, instead of the 90/10 gas/electric that it is now (I'm guestimating here) it would get much better mileage, and even drive around on motor only for a good while cause it's not too terribly heavy. But their engines are what made Honda famous (they are excellent), and I think there is a bit of corporate pride involved here. Anyways, this is very refreshing to hear.

Would be great if they offered plug in & a second/third detacheable battery you could plug in in the back or hood as options on the vehicle, for extra electric mileage, assuming it has a big enough motor to drive solo electric for a while. Actually, why can't you just order a second battery anyways on hybrids and get an electrician to wire the two together in parallel for doubled range? (Besides cost, that is?)

Would also be great if they offered an electric only version with lithium ion/ultra caps in a few years--but now I'm dreaming. Maybe in a few years with clean diesel in North America we can get a diesel hybrid mix? Go Honda!

A qualifier: my earlier post was given realizing Honda might not develop a new hybrid: just offering some ruminations.

Honda has a 990cc engine already and its an award winner. The engine from the Honda Insight. Why not use that long with the newer hybrid system from the civic?

The key thing here is that a hybrid will be truly affordable for the masses. From an economic perspective, there will be no reason not to buy a hybrid.

Also, not sure that the Honda hybrid technology, unlike the Prius HSD system is amenable to electric only. Thoughts?

Current Honda IMA technology is not amenable to eletric only, at present. Perhaps the newest civic hybrid is to a small degree, but not sure on that one. The other vehicles from honda aren't for sure. Has to do with both the priority they give to the gasoline engine over the electric drive, but also because they are not seperate but joined at the hip, so to speak. The electic boost is not significant, considering what they could do, and especially if they would use technology such as Raser Tech's new AC induction motor technology to augment their own motor.

But companies don't seem to want to use other companies technology, unless they are desperate, even if the benefits would be stunning. More corporate pride again I think. I was hoping Honda would put seperate motors on the back wheels, or something like that, on the new Fit hybrid if it comes out. (But wouldnt' be surprised if they don't: people would say they copied Toyota. Corporate pride??)

Wonder why Toyota (and other manufacturers of similar hybrids) do not offer various size/type batteries (as extra cost options). Buyers would and should have the choice to invest or not in PHEV capabilities has they do between gasoline and diesel versions.

Auto companies have offered different size internal combustion engines for decades, so yeah, the logical next step is to offer different size battery packs, different size elecric motots, and user adjustable programming to choose performance or economy. At the least, I believe that the latter will happen soon. Also would not be surprised to see the 2008 Prius as a Toyota provided PHEV.

1991 Geo Metro (3 Cylinder/Manual) 53 city/58 hwy
1988 Chevrolet Sprint Metro 54/58 mpg
-low on HP, butneither is a hybrid-

15+ years later, I don't know what to say.

cs1992:
good point

The current round of economy cars are heavier and more powerfull and safer but it seems like very little progress on MPG. Current emmission control takes a big hit on mpg too.

A hybrid Jazz - Hope it comes to Australia as I will be buying one sight unseen.

"The key thing here is that a hybrid will be truly affordable for the masses. From an economic perspective, there will be no reason not to buy a hybrid."

The Hyundai accent hybrid could help on that front too.

"15+ years later, I don't know what to say. "

2005 VW Lupo 3L - 78 mpg(US)

With US petrol prices at $0.50/L it is no suprise that it is not offered there.

hey cs1992 put the two cars in a crash rating test and look at the results yourselfs. Sure it took this long but not without some progess, oh and Honda decided to add to pedestrian safety too so that adds more credit to Honda's "Safety for everyone".

Hybrid Fit? I'll take two. I've been drooling over the tiny thing since I heard about it. Now they're making a hybrid? Fantastic! Perfect for city dwellers like me who occasionally have to resupply at CostCo and need a four door car that's easy to park.

i dont think a customizable(eg battery size/motor) hybrid would be coming out soon, its easier to mass produce the same car than to try+research+sell+support so many different stuff when this field is still that new.

if honda fit hybrid were to be announced tmr, i'll be the first to get it...the car itself is already nice, with hybrid, an additional advantage of saving fuel :P

FYI, note that treehugger updated their reporting of this story to specify that the Fit will get IMA, not the Insight powertrain. This makes sense, given that IMA is relatively inexpensive, the Fit is heavier than the Insight, and Honda is developing new (full) hybrid technology for 2010.

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