Honda heats up EV battle with reduced lease price

For its Fit EV, Honda announces a reduced leasing price of $259 per month over three years.

Honda Fit EV
Honda gives the Fit EV a new lease price of $259 per month. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Tesla may have muddied the waters when it used tortured logic and financing agreements to come up with a $500-per-month price for the Model S, but Honda sets out to clear things up with its own simple lease plan for the Fit EV . The company announced today that it would offer its Fit EV for $259 per month on a three-year lease with no down payment, unlimited miles, and included insurance coverage.

When Honda introduced the Fit EV last year, it offered similar lease terms at a price of $389 per month. Along with the new, reduced price, Honda is throwing in a Leviton home charging station for the car.

This leasing change comes in the face of new competition, with both the Chevy Spark EV and the Fiat 500E hitting the market with a $199-per-month lease price. However, none of these other cars includes insurance coverage or unlimited miles.

Not that anyone is likely to take the Fit EV on an extended road trip, as its range comes in at 82 miles in EPA estimates, similar to other EVs in its class. Still, in CNET's hands-on with the car , it proved nimble and had excellent acceleration, comparing very favorably with other electric vehicles on the market, such as the Ford Focus Electric and the Nissan Leaf .

Honda also seems intent on making a real business out of the Fit EV, rather than just using it to comply with new CAFE requirements. Honda says it is expanding certified dealers for the Fit EV, sold in eight states, from the current 36 up to 200 by this summer.

People interested in the Fit EV can check the Honda Web site to see if the car is sold in their area.

Read the full CNET Review

2013 Honda Fit EV

The Bottom Line: The Honda Fit EV shows range similar to that of other compact electric cars on the market and drives well enough, but ultimately feels like a retrofit project car rather than a fully realized futuristic production vehicle. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

2012 Tesla Model S

The Bottom Line: The 2012 Tesla Model S sets a new standard for cars of the 21st century by integrating cabin tech equal to anything from the consumer electronics industry and incorporating a long-range, powerful, and efficient electric drivetrain. / Read full review

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.



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