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The battery-powered version of Honda's Jazz - sold as the Fit in the United States - has been awarded the highest fuel-efficiency rating in the history of the Environmental Protection Agency, measured at just 18kWh per 100km.
That gives it an estimated battery range in the EPA combined cycle of 131km and, according to the EPA, its energy consumption is the equivalent of a combustion-engined car averaging two litres per 100km - well ahead of the EPA efficiency and range ratings of the Ford Focus Electric (2.25 e-litres per 100km, 122km range), the Nissan Leaf (2.39 e-litres per 100km, 117km range) and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (2.11 e-litres per 100km, 99km range).
RUNS ON LESS THAN $500 A YEAR
Not only that, but Honda claims the Fit's 20kWh lithium-ion battery can be fully charged from completely flat in less than three hours using a 240 - volt supply.
At California electricity rates that means the average commuter/family driver would spend less than $500 (R4150) on ‘fuel’ a year.
The Fit EV has a coaxial electric motor for which Honda quotes 92kW and 257Nm, driving the front wheels through a driver-selectable, three-mode electric drive system developed from that of the CR-Z hybrid coupé, and independent suspension all round.
It was first shown at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and Honda plans to begin leasing to customers in selected California and Oregon areas in mid-2012, followed by an East Coast rollout in 2013.