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Honda Fit EV cars being tested by Google, Stanford and California city

Tue, 14 Feb 2012

Honda dropped off a fleet of 2013 Fit EVs last week to Google, Stanford University and the City of Torrance, Calif., as part of the Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program. All of the participants will conduct tests and log feedback for the company.

“The goal of the Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program is to better understand the challenges and opportunities associated with the advancement in battery-electric technology,” said Steve Center, vice president of the environmental business development office at American Honda.

“Honda's experience and the unique feedback that Google, Stanford University and the City of Torrance will provide will be valuable to the future introduction of battery-electric technology.”

Google will use the EVs as part of its G-Fleet, an employee car-sharing program that features a selection of plug-in vehicles. Google's portion of the test will analyze vehicle usage including carbon emissions, energy consumption and miles per charge.

Stanford will use the EVs to test recently developed theories about the psychological and physical reactions of using battery-electric vehicles and how they differ when driving a gasoline-powered vehicle. Honda says it hopes the research will help the company better understand customer acceptance of battery-electric vehicles and how to overcome obstacles related to the adoption of new technologies.

Honda introduced the 2013 Fit EV at the Los Angeles auto show in November and announced plans to lease the vehicle to customers in California and Oregon during this summer. An East Coast rollout is planned for spring 2013.

Honda says the Fit EV will go 123 miles per charge with its battery-electric powertrain. It has a 20-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and a 92-kilowatt coaxial electric motor. It can be charged in three hours using a 240-volt circuit.

By Jake Lingeman