Published on May 31st, 2013 | by Tim Tyler


Honda Fit EV Lease Down To $259/Month

May 31st, 2013 by  

Editor’s note: Just last week in my Top Electric Vehicle Stories of 2013 post, I noted that the Honda Fit EV is a great-looking EV with good specs but that “competing with the Leaf is no easy task these days.” In particular, after moving Leaf manufacturing to the US, Nissan was able to cut its price by several thousand dollars. It now offers a lease of as low as $199/month (with $1,999 down). Honda seems to be responding by reducing its lease to a price near that (with $0 down). Here’s more news on the Honda Fit EV price cut from EV Obsession.

Honda has just announced a deal for those who are looking to lease their Honda Fit EV. Starting in June, Honda will cut the lease price of the Fit EV from $389 a month down to $259. This price reduction will apply to current customers, as well.

2013 Honda Fit EV

Image: 2013 Honda Fit EV via Honda Media

The three-year lease seems like a pretty sweet deal with no down payment, unlimited mileage, routine maintenance collision coverage and 240 volt EV home charging station equipment (not including installation) from Leviton.

Existing customers will benefit from the reduced lease price and unlimited mileage starting in June 2013. Honda notes that this new lease program makes the Fit EV one of the most affordable electric vehicles in the States.

According to Steve Center, vice president of Environmental Business Development at American Honda Motor Co., Inc:

The Fit EV already is a benchmark electric vehicle with a leading-range rating, fun-to-drive dynamics and excellent packaging. Now it’s the only EV on the market with no down payment, unlimited mileage, collision coverage and a free home charging station, giving customers an unprecedented value that only Honda can provide and a compelling reason to get off the barrel and onto the grid.

To help get customers into their new Fit EV quicker, Honda has streamlined the online application process to expedite approval and to insure faster delivery of the vehicle to customers.

“Further, the network of qualified Fit EV Honda dealers in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut will expand from 36 to more than 200 by the end of June.”

The Honda Fit EV was recently named one of the Ten Best Green Cars by KBB.com, thanks largely to its EPA mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 MPGe and a EPA-rated driving range of 82 miles. The Fit EV also boasts a low energy-consumption rating of 29 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 miles

One of the really nice extra features that comes with the lease is that Fit EV customers can have solar power installed with no upfront cost through a partnership Honda has with SolarCity. This can allow the customers to recharge their Fit EV with clean, affordable power from the sun with no upfront cost.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

Holds an electronic's engineering degree and is working toward a second degree in IT/web development. Enjoy's renewable energy topic's and has a passion for the environment. Part time writer and web developer, full time husband and father.

  • Kevin

    I ordered one on Friday and Im still not sure of all the details on how this works. They say no money down but the dealer charged me a $399 dealer fee and $179 for VIN etch which they said was mandatory. Im not even sure that I needed to go to a dealership at all. Some people are saying the whole proccess is done online. They said that there are 3 or 4 people ahead of me in line but that there would only be a few days between new deliveries but then Honda said there is a shortage so Im not sure what to expect.

    • Mike G.

      Get them to remove the fees. VIN etching is a $10 task that the dealer tacks on and charges a ton more for… Hell, AAA or your local police dept will do etching for free generally.

  • Otis11

    If it were in Texas – I would absolutely recommend this. I know someone who drives 55 miles to work and 55 miles back, and can charge at work. He also regularly has to drive significant mileage on the weekends (To the tune of well over 30k miles/year). Problem is, he’s nervous about wearing out the battery and most leases prohibit this much driving. In fact, driving so much actually gives the Tesla a chance on pure economics with it’s 8 year/unlimited mile warranty, and he considered that, but leasing would be a better option for him. This would be perfect.

    Any way I could get one shipped to Texas economically if he bought it in Cali? Anyone know?

    • Bob_Wallace

      There was recently an article, on Treehugger I think, about a guy who has put 80,000 miles on a LEAF in two years. He’s been charging twice a day.

      Might be interesting to do the math with a LEAF. If he’s spending $3,000 or so a year on fuel (assuming a 40 MPG car and $4/gallon fuel) it might be worth replacing the batteries after four or five years. The LEAF is now $21,300 after the fed kick-in.

      The Tesla unlimited mileage allowance is sweet if one drives a lot.

      If he wants to buy one in CA I might be willing to drive it to Texas for him. ;o)

      There are closer sales rooms than CA. If TX is blocked they might open the Louisiana one sooner.


      • Otis11

        That’s what I try to tell him – right now he’s actually driving at 23 mpg and about $3.50/gallon… but still significantly above your estimate. (and hence the economic case for something as extravagant as a model S! – I almost got him with that one. Got him to take a trip to Austin to see a show room before he “delayed” his purchase)

        And just about every electric car is an economic case for this particular driver – his job just requires so much driving and the pattern is so regular that range is not a significant issue. He just has unfounded concerns about battery issues and (to my knowledge) most companies have a mileage limit on the battery warranty. Regardless, the numbers are still in his favor, but he uses that concern to delay the purchase. The Model S was honestly the closest to passing – it had huge range (just for his peace of mind), made economic sense (even if not the cheapest route) and has the wow factor.

        And I know there are closer Tesla sales rooms – but what about the honda fit? I think I’d stand a better chance with a lease as it takes away much of his concerns.

        I’m wearing on him… already got him to do a fair amount of home efficiency upgrades. EV and solar panels (with solar water heater) are the next on the list… then change the heater for a heat pump and upgrade to a more efficient AC and this house is set.

        (For reference, he’s cut about half of his power usage with a new fridge, washer/dryer, extra insulation and double glazed windows – the fridge has already paid off, the rest is well on it’s way. He’s more than willing to listen. I just have to justify it with either economics or improved standard of living, plus answer his concerns and he follows through.)

        • Bob_Wallace

          30,000 miles at 23 MPG = 1304 gallons/year at $3.50 = $4,565 per year for fuel. Plus how much for oil changes? Up to $5k yet? Add in more frequent brake jobs. And routine maintenance costs, 30k worth a year. $400+ per month in operating expenses.

          Add in vehicle depreciation. His cars must be pretty much shot in 4-5 years. If he’s driving a $20k/30k car now he’s burning though a few thousand of “worn out car” each year.

          “With the Fit EV, Honda is offering a $259 per month lease, down $130 from the initial $389 per month offer when the car went on sale in July of last year. The reduced price starts June 1 and will apply to existing Fit EV leases, Honda said. The three-year lease requires no money down and comes with unlimited mileage, free routine maintenance, collision insurance coverage and a free 240-volt home charging station, the company said Thursday. The charging station normally costs $995. The car buyer must take care of installation.”

          Part of the insurance is covered. It’s only a three year commitment. Tires?

          The big issue would be comfort, I would guess. If he’s driving 30k a year he’s spending a lot of time in the vehicle. Bunches of time. The finances seem like a no-brainer. When you add opexp and depr and insurance savings he’d be saving a few hundred per month.

          Take a test drive. See how it feels to sit inside one. See how it handles, whether driving it feels easier or harder than what he’s driving now.

          After leasing for three years it might be time to buy a Tesla if he’s still doing that kind of driving. He should have saved up a sweet down payment if he piggy banks his monthly savings.

          Might want to look into charge points and “electric rescue trucks” in his drive zone. If he knows he’s never more than a few miles from a place to grab some extra miles that might help.

          • Otis11

            Exactly – He’s burning through about $7k/year in fuel and maintenance cost alone. Add in the ~$4-5k/year in depreciation costs and you have a healthy chunk of change.

            And the Honda EV looks great for his situation – my concern is that they don’t sell it in Texas. Where’s the closest place he can get one? And test drive one? Installation of the charger wouldn’t be an issue – He’s got a dedicated 240V line running to his garage for the welder already, just can’t use both at the same time, which isn’t an issue.

            And I didn’t think about the size factor – he’s a pretty big guy – 6’1″ @240 lbs with broad shoulders, it might be interesting. The Model S is still a good fall back if everything else falls through though. I’m still pushing that one. Just trying to see some more options.

            And yeah, although I think he’d be better off just getting the Tesla right off the bat. Plus, the performance of the Model S is another good selling point (bit of a car enthusiast)

            I don’t think range anxiety is an issue – he can always take his wife’s car if they drive far for a trip. All of the other driving is very routine, so unless he forgot to charge it or something, he would be fine.

            I think right now I present the Fit EV as the most practical option, and then present the Model S as a luxury alternative. He likes the idea of going the most economical route possible, but I personally think he’ll end up with the Model S on this one simply because he’s such a car enthusiast. But who knows – he’s surprised me before!

            Any other good options I should present? And anywhere we could test drive either of these in Texas?

          • Bob_Wallace

            This is apparently the site where you can find the closest FiT dealer.


            Outside of the FiT, LEAF and S I can’t think of a good option. The FiT and S have the unlimited mileage advantage.

            You might check on line to see if there’s a LEAF dealer or a used LEAF around that he could test drive just to get the feel for driving an EV.

            And it would be fairly easy to put together a comparison of the interior specs of the cars. Driver headroom, etc.

            If he’s now spending $11k plus a year to drive then the S should be very affordable. 200 mile range for $62,400 after fed subsidy. That’s a 5-6 year break even.

            Nope – the low priced one has a 8 year, 125k miles battery warranty. He’d have to go $72,400. 6-7 year break even with 8 years on the battery. That seems like a safe bet to me. Eight years from now replacement batteries should be cheap.

            (I didn’t include financing, I now realize.)

          • Otis11

            Yeah, but that just finds the closest Honda dealer – They only sell the Fit EV in select markets. When I go to http://automobiles.honda.com/fit-ev/ev-readiness-assessment-long.aspx and enter his zip code I get:

            The Fit EV is currently not for lease in your area; however, its availability could expand as more charging stations are installed and the EV infrastructure grows. We are definitely interested in expanding the availability of the Fit EV, and your responses to this form will help us with identifying potential EV markets.

            And you are correct – he would have to go with the upgraded model. Financing isn’t so much of an issue but that 7 year assessment doesn’t account for the car depreciation while the 11k requires depreciation. That’s why my top recommendation was to get a 2-3 year lease to avoid his battery worries and then see what’s on the market. If he did a 3 year lease close to the end of this year, he could be wrapping up that lease just in time to get the newer, more affordable Tesla.

            I think the Leaf would be a good car for him as well, but it’s a bit too modern looking for his tastes (just a guess…) I think something like the focus electric would have a better chance, but regardless, neither address his battery concerns and the leases all have maximum mileage quotas worked in. When I talk to them about working something out for 30k miles/year they think I’m kidding… then just tell me no or ask a ridiculous sum.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Email Honda and ask them the closest place for a FiT.

            $11k includes the declining value of the gasmobile he would be driving.

            $11k goes to pay off the Tesla S/whatever.

            Seems same-same to me.

          • Otis11

            “$11k includes the declining value of the gasmobile he would be driving.

            $11k goes to pay off the Tesla S/whatever.”

            My mistake – you are correct. I’ll follow up on this shortly. Thanks for all the feedback!

          • Bob_Wallace

            He could buy a LEAF for $21,300 and pay for it with two year’s savings. If he had to replace the battery after 3, 4, 5 years he’d still be way ahead.

            The 80k battery warranty would cover him for almost three years of driving. Two payoff years and one free one. Replacement battery should be no more than “one year’s savings”. I remember someone saying that they had checked the price for a replacement battery at a dealership and it was around $10k. And that was before Nissan opened their plant in TN and prices dropped.

            I see three clear options. Take a road trip and give them all a look.

          • Otis11

            That’s a very valid point. I had mentioned that but hadn’t put it in numbers. I’ll make some spreadsheets for him and get down to it.

            Thanks Bob.

          • Bob_Wallace

            This has been fun (for me). Please keep us (me) informed on how things go.

            From where I sit leasing the FiT makes the most financial sense. Spend less and see what life with an EV is like.

            But if I were spending 30,000 miles a year driving I’d be studying my finances to see if I could drive the S and wear a great big smile while I drove.

            I’ve had a couple of nice cars and there is something about driving “nice” that is worth the extra if one can afford it.

          • Otis11

            I’ll get a chance to sit down and discuss this either around July 4th or, if not then, sometime in August. Currently away on business.

            Feel free to get my e-mail from Zachary S. and inquire about an update, but action is unlike to happen immediately. While I’ll start discussing it immediately, he takes some time to mull over all of his options. Hopeful we might have a decision by the end of the year though.

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