Honda Cuts the Fit EV Lease Price by $130. What Am I Waiting For?

Jim Motavalli

Jim Motavalli | May 30, 2013

A SHOCKING DEAL: A lease price cut, a free charger, no money down. What's not to like? (Jim Motavalli photo)
A SHOCKING DEAL: A lease price cut, a free charger, no money down. What's not to like? (Jim Motavalli photo)

Leasing a Honda Fit EV, an electric car everybody loves but not that many have in the garage, just got a whole lot cheaper. Following a trend (both the Spark EV and the Nissan Leaf are now available for $199 a month), Honda has cut its lease price by $130, from a steep $389 a month to $259 now.

The last-generation Smart ED had an insane $599 a month list price; the new, improved car can be had for, you guessed it, $199. Is this the new standard? You bet!

The Fit three-year lease deal is sweet in a number of other ways, including no money down (yes, that’s right), and unlimited mileage (breaking the 12,000-mile limit), free maintenance, collision coverage and even the $1,000-value of a 240-volt garage charger thrown in.

Now I have to confess around here that I actually own a Honda Fit. I love everything about our 2007 car, including its spectacular carrying capacity (it's like a clown car), and I raved about the electric version in the New York Times. It's as if the company is saying to me, "C'mon, put your money where your mouth is. Stop talking about electric cars, drooling over test vehicles you have to give back, and actually buy one." Or lease one, which is basically the same thing. My Times and colleague Brad Berman emailed me, "Nice new lease price.  Free home charger.  You like the Fit. Go, Jim, Go."

Charging the Fit...with an included charger. (Honda photo)
Charging the Fit...with an included charger. (Honda photo)

Honda is, basically, gunning for me. I'm in their crosshairs. “In order to effectively compete in the EV market, we need a more competitive price,” said Honda spokeswoman Robyn Eagles. You said it, Robyn. Honda has leased only 174 Fit EVs since the July 2012 introduction. They’re only building 1,000 initially, but still, that’s no kind of progress when Tesla Motors (now with expanding Supercharger capability) is on a glide path to 20,000 units per year.

The new lease price should get the Fit EV out of the “compliance car” category. It looks like Honda is finally trying to move these vehicles beyond strict adherence to California law. Steven Center of Honda informed obviously delighted early Fit adopters of their good fortune. “Beginning in June, subject to your agreement, your monthly Honda Fit EV lease payment will be reduced from $389 per month to $259 per month (plus tax) for the remainder of your lease.”

Honda said this is “a compelling reason to get off the barrel and into the grid.” I agree. Where’s the nearest Honda dealer? Of course, I haven't talked to my wife about any of this...Will she find this video compelling?

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