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Tag: EV

Honda to Discontinue Fit EV, Insight Vehicles

Honda announced that after 2014, the Honda Fit EV will no longer be manufactured and the Honda Insight will only be available at dealerships through the end of the year.

While we’re sad to hear that the Honda Fit EV and Insight won’t be very available much longer, we’re excited to hear that it’s because Honda is concentrating on other electric and hybrid technologies!

According to this article, “”Our path forward includes a new generation of electromotive technologies, including expanded application of our two-motor hybrid system,” said Sage Marie, American Honda spokesman, regarding the news.

The two-motor hybrid system is in the Honda Accord Plug-in and Honda Accord Hybrid. Based on consumer and critic reviews of these models, we think is very forward-thinking and wise of Honda to concentrate on expanding on this technology. Almost everyone raves about the gas mileage and performance of the Honda Accord Plug-In and Honda Accord Hybrid, so we think with Honda putting most of it’s attention on that will only make it better!

What do you think? Are you excited for Honda to focus on this technology?

Honda Joins EPRI, Utilities and Automakers to Help Create an Open Grid Integration Platform for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

  • Project seeks to develop a streamlined platform for vehicle-grid functionality that can help create value for drivers, improve grid reliability and reduce GHG emissions
  • Honda pioneered a similar demonstration effort with IBM and PG&E (V1G)
  • Honda is participating in a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) demonstration with the University of Delaware and NRG Energy

Honda has joined a group of eight major automakers and 15 utilities organized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to demonstrate a standards-based, open grid integration platform for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The open platform will simplify and streamline V2G communications, enabling PEVs to provide grid services and increasing the overall value proposition of plug-in vehicles.

There are more than 3,300 utilities in North America and various global automakers providing plug-in vehicles. Collaboration of this nature is necessary to maximize the potential of vehicle-grid integration.

“This project is an important step in enabling plug-in vehicles to reach their potential as a valuable distributed resource that can increase grid stability, improve power quality and reduce demand peaks,” said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda. “Honda is participating in several projects aimed at accelerating vehicle-to-grid integration, which has the potential to reduce the total cost of owning a plug-in vehicle while enabling higher concentrations of renewable energy.”

Honda has steadily advanced and expanded its knowledge of V2G systems through its participation in several projects. Leveraging IBM’s cloud-based PEV Enablement platform, Honda demonstrated a PEV’s ability to receive and respond to charge instructions based on grid conditions and the vehicle’s battery state. Phase II of the project expanded the use of this network to schedule charge times based on the needs of the driver and preferred rate structures, including the use of renewable energy sources for charging.

In addition, in December 2013, Honda supplied an Accord Plug-In Hybrid with a bi-directional on-board charger to the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. In conjunction with the university and NRG Energy, Honda will investigate the potential of V2G technology to benefit the grid, vehicle owners and society.

In March 2014, Honda launched Honda Smart Home US at the University of California, Davis, which seeks to investigate the integration of the home with distributed renewable energy, the smart grid and the electric vehicle.

Honda Environmental Leadership
Honda is committed to further advancements in environmental technologies and the effort to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions from its products, including the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid and Plug-In, the Fit EV, Civic Natural Gas and the FCX Clarity fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Honda has been recognized as among the top automakers in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has been included on the list of America’s greenest vehicles from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for the past 16 years.

Honda Develops Solar Powered Compatible EV Charger

Honda is changing the way we think of electric vehicles and how they charge. Honda “…has made its way to the spotlight by working on a normal speed EV charger that is able to garner its energy from the power of the sun, too, which would go some way in promoting the use of electric-powered vehicles.”

Not only that, but it is a small solar panel that can be installed on a wall just about anywhere. According to this article, “Not only that, it can also be installed in a jiffy in existing parking areas, as it offers support for network-based billing services and smart card authentication. Not only that, the HEH55 will also sport locking systems that include a “gunlock” function so that any untoward mischief can be prevented.”

While all manufacturing are battling to create more efficient vehicles, including electric vehicles, Honda is taking it one step further and making the way these vehicles get power environmentally friendly, too. Not just environmentally friendly, but convenient.

And that’s pretty awesome.

Honda on Cutting Edge of V2G Technology

Honda is partnering up with the University of Delaware to pioneer something that seems more futuristic than hydrogen fuel cell technology, something you may never even have heard of yet: vehicle to grid, or V2G.

Basically the idea is similar to that of homes that use solar power; any excess energy that is produced and is not used by the home can be sold to the energy company and the homeowner paid for that energy. With this experimental V2G technology, hybrid/electric cars would plug into a grid that would allow stored up, unused battery energy to go back into the grid and be used to charge other vehicles.

According to this article on Torquenews.com, “Your Accord plug in or FCEV(if it has plug -in capacity) will reverse -flow excess battery storage capacity back into the power grid via a controller developed through the UD’s Center for Carbon Free Integration. You can read about the program here. Assuming that electric car production reaches critical mass in the not too distant future, this energy swap will be critical in maintaining grid-flow during peak energy usage hours. And that’s a big if.

“The partnership project between UD and Honda is on an ‘ experimental’ basis. For the program to be successful, a major manufacturer such as Honda would agree to integrate UD’s board into mass produced EV’s.”

We think this is an incredibly forward-thinking and brave step on Honda’s part. Electric vehicles are just emerging as a popular option among the average car-buyer and this V2G idea is one that has yet to be proven effective, let alone appealing to consumers. But we are excited to see that Honda is taking this step to power vehicles with renewable energy that could potentially be shared by all on the grid.

All Electric Honda Fit EV

The 2014 Honda Fit EV is an electric vehicle that just about anyone can love. It gets 188 MPGe and can go 82 miles on a full charge; that’s more than enough to get you around town or even a quick jaunt down the highway. That’s a big deal considering the national average is 16 miles per trip.

Sheesh. That will barely get to you Costco and back. But we digress.

According to this press release, “A highlight of the 2014 Honda Fit EV is the short charging time. From the low-charge indicator light point, the Honda Fit EV is capable of charging in three hours or less when using a 240-volt circuit. That’s a full hour faster than Ford’s 2014 Focus Electric using the same voltage. As charging time is typically one of the biggest concerns for consumers looking to buy electric, the Honda Fit EV is likely to come out on top.”

And you don’t need to worry about what happens if you find you need a charge while you’re out and about, there are currently more than 6,100 charging stations around the country.

“Driving an all-electric vehicle is not what it used to be,” said Tod McLaughlin, general manager. “If you’ve ever been intrigued by an EV, but not felt entirely comfortable with it, the Honda Fit EV may be the perfect car for you. Honda and the Honda Fit are incredibly reliable, so you can have that same confidence in the EV technology.”

Stop by Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda to take the 2014 Honda Fit EV for a test drive!

Honda Fit EV Price Drop, Unlimited Miles on Lease

The Honda Fit EV (electric vehicle) is now more affordable! You can now lease the Honda Fit EV for $259 per month, which dropped from $389!

AND, whereas leasers were limited to 12,000 miles, they can drive as many miles as their hearts desire.

Already lease a Honda Fit EV? Honda is taking the high road and lowering those leaser’s monthly payments by $130 to meet the new monthly payments! How refreshing is that?! This makes the Honda Fit EV even more appealing and, according to this article, “Considering the lease also includes collision insurance, which probably save owners around $50/month on average, as well as includes a 240 volt EV home charging station, the lease offer is now the most attractive in the industry in our opinion.”

Here are the specs of the Honda Fit EV:

  • 82 Miles Range (EPA Scale)
  • 118 MPGe Rating (highest of all EVs currently on the market)
  • 92 kilowatt (123 hp) coaxial electric motor generating 189 ft-lb of torque (of which we drag raced a Volt with and handily beat)
  • $389/month (36 month) lease
  • 20 kWh battery
  • 6.6 kW charging, which means near full charges in about 3 hours
  • and ECO mode setting that should never be selected by anyone as it retards the driving to sub-human levels
  • theoretical room for 5 passengers
  • good size boot with a 60/40 split

So what do you think? Is the price drop and lifted mileage restriction enough for you to venture out to buy a Honda Fit EV (if you live in one of the few areas it is sold)?

Drive a Honda, Use the HOV Lane

A new report stated that Honda makes the most cars that can legally drive in California’s HOV lanes with only a driver in the vehicle.

Why? Because Honda makes the most gosh-darn environmentally friendly vehicles.

According to the California Air Resources Board, Honda makes four vehicles that meet its air quality standards to be eligible to use the carpool lane even when there’s only one occupant. The four vehicles are:

  • The Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid. The 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid sedan has a EPA driving range of 570 miles with an EPA rating of 115 MPGe, a standard used to measure the combined efficiency of an electric vehicle.
  • The Honda Civic Natural Gas. The 2012 Civic Natural Gas (CNG) has an EPA of 31 MPG.
  • The Honda Fit EV, which has an EPA rating of 118 MPGe with an EPA driving range of 82 miles.
  • The FCX Clarity, which has a EPA rating of 60 MPEe with an EPA driving range of 240 miles.

This article points out that using the HOV lane in California can shave 30 minutes off your commute where a ten mile drive can often take 30 to 40 minutes. That is DEFINITELY something we can relate to if you’ve ever hit Seattle traffic during rush hour or there is an accident in one of the two through lanes in downtown Seattle. The HOV lane is your friend in the Puget Sound area!

“The average annual five year fuel savings of the Honda Accord Plug-In, Honda Civic CNG and Honda Fit EV is about $7,783.  The fuel savings for the FCX Clarity haven’t been released.”

If you care about the environment, saving money and getting around faster (sounds pretty good right?), then be sure to stop by Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealerships today. Not all of these vehicles may be available in Washington state yet, but no doubt any of them would make a big difference in your life and your budget.

Honda Fit EV Available on East Coast

Until now the Honda Fit EV has frustratingly only been available at select dealerships in California and Oregon. Well, by the end of February, the Honda Fit EV will be hitting the East Coast (which is still frustrating for those us in the state of Washington, but “Yay!” for the East Coast).

The Honda Fit EV will be available to lease (still can’t purchase one) at select dealerships in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. While we are certainly happy for residents of the eastern seaboard, we are jealous its 118 mpg and EPA-rated 82 mile range is still not an option for us here in Washington.

The Honda Fit EV will be available to lease for $389 for 36 months as a part of Honda’s ‘real world feedback’ efforts before fully releasing it to the rest of us.

http://www.plugincars.com/honda-fit-ev-headed-east-coast-dealers-end-february-126448.html

Electric Cars: Fad or Future?

Electric Cars: Fad or Future?

Are electric cars just a passing fad like bell bottoms, lower-back tattoos and big hair? Honestly, I hadn’t even thought to ask this question because it seemed easy to see that electric cars will be a big part of the automobile industry, but the writer of this article had been asked the question enough times that he felt he needed to answer it.

His answer to the above question is a resounding “No” and here are some of his reasons why EVs are here to stay:

Honda FCX Clarity

“Among other things, 1) electrics cars run dead quiet, 2) electric cars have instant torque and terrific acceleration at low RPMs, performance which cannot be matched by gasoline engines, 3) electric cars have platform flexibility, turn radius/handling that can be amazing, since you can use distributed motors, all electric control etc, the same promise that fuel cell cars had, but couldn’t deliver, and 4) maintenance goes WAY down, virtually no fluids fewer moving parts.

Bottom line, once an EV or PHEV comes close on range and cost, it’s a better car than a gasoline car.”

 

As we, the consumer, get used to the EV idea, the technology will perform the way we demand and the price will come down. It will take time, but EVs are definitely a thing of the future (especially with gas prices as high as they are and no sign of coming down).

 

It is true, the mainstream consumer feels uneasy about aspects of owning an EV: range (how far can the car travel on a single charge), charge time (how long it takes to charge the battery), and maintenance (if you’re like me, you assume the new technology will be more costly to maintain and repair. Read on).

The range of EVs of today (and the future) is not like the EVs of yester-decade. Most EVs in the industry will easily get you to and from work if you have an average commute. I, however, have had a very un-average commute (100 miles per day) and what’s the point in not having to pay for gas if you can’t take your car on a long road trip? There are a couple EVs today that could handle that and as far as the future, the writer of the article predicts “by 2015 the average EV/PHEV range will approach 200 mi, and range anxiety will be a thing of the past.” Good news for all.

 

So, let’s say we want to go on that long-range road trip and we find a several charging stations along the way; am I going to have to spend half the day waiting for my EVs battery to charge? The not-so-short answer is no, but it depends on your cars battery. Here’s what the writer said: “charging is not a huge limitation, it’s a technology and cost choice.  Charge time is effectively a function of battery size, onboard charger size, and volts.  Let’s start out by saying we’re not going to be charging EVs at 110.  Too slow.  But charging at 220 is very doable.  220V home chargers today are in the 1-2K range. They will not stay that high for long.   Onboard charging The Leaf chose a 3.3Kw onboard charger.  Big mistake, done to skim $2K off the price of the car and keep it inline with the conventional Camry price point after tax credit.  They should have offered multiple options.  The Focus and Volt noticed this went with a 6.6 kw job, the Tesla Model S comes with a 10 – 20 kw.  Faster charging is pretty much an ask and you shall receive issue.”

As someone who put a lot of miles on her new 2009 Honda Accord (remember the 100 mile per day commute?) and someone who previously owned a very costly used foreign car (every six months we’d have to put $1,200 into a car we paid bought for $10,000…thus the new Accord), maintenance and repair costs are very important to me. The writer touched briefly on the fact that EVs have “virtually no fluids fewer moving parts” which brings costs way down. Winning.

So here’s what we know about EVs:

  • While they currently cost $8-$35,000 more than a gas vehicle, prices will continue to go down and demand and supply go up
  • They will cost less to fuel (electrically charging vs gasoline that is currently around $3.50 per gallon)
  • They will cost less to maintain and repair because they are simpler
  • They will drive better and perform better as the technology catches up with the potential of not having a big, heavy engine in the front
  • Many manufacturers will be producing cars that will alleviate concerns about range and charge time by 2015.

Yeah, I’d say EVs are here to stay.

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2012/1126/Electric-cars-niche-technology-or-the-auto-industry-s-future

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