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Honda Fit EV concept (photos)

At the 2010 LA Auto Show, Honda debuted its Fit EV concept, a first look at the Fit EV production vehicle Honda will produce in 2012. As is typical for current electric vehicle technology, the Fit EV should go about 100 miles on a charge.

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Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive 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.
Wayne Cunningham
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Honda showed off the Fit EV concept at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. As is typical with the company, this is no far-flung design, but a real predecessor to a production car that Honda will sell in 2012.

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An electric version of the Fit, this concept offers the same versatile interior, with seating for five and a configurable cargo area.

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The electric power train means no exhaust pipe. The Fit EV uses the electric motor Honda developed for its Clarity fuel cell vehicle, along with a lithium ion battery pack that gives it a range of 100 miles. Top speed is 90 mph.

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Honda made minor modifications to the body, such as closing off the front grille for better aerodynamics.

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The concept uses LED head and tail lights for reduced electricity consumption, although the production vehicle may use standard headlights. The headlight casings have also been redesigned for this concept.

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Honda says that the car can be fully recharged in 12 hours from a 120-volt outlet, and in less than 6 hours from a 240-volt outlet. Several smart charging options will let drivers set when the car will start charging, to take advantage of lower electricity rates.

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Similar to the body, the interior of the Fit EV is little changed from the standard Fit. Main differences involve instrumentation changes.

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A digital speedometer tops the instrument cluster, with a battery level gauge to the right and a power use gauge to the left. The charge area of the power use gauge indicates that the Fit EV will have regenerative braking.

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The navigation system will come standard with the Fit EV and will include locations of public charging stations. There will also be a smartphone app and Web site access to see the car's charging status, along with a remote that lets you set the charging times.

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Along with the Fit EV, Honda announced a plug-in hybrid vehicle, but did not actually have a version of that car to show off. This new hybrid system will be an improvement on Honda's current Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, letting it drive for 15 miles under electric power.

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Honda's new hybrid system will use two electric motors, one primarily as a generator and one as a traction motor, along with a gas engine. A lithium ion battery pack will power the traction motor. Plugging it in overnight reduces the amount of gasoline used.

Back to 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

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