Honda electric car gets 118 mpg but costs add up Knoxville News Sentinel

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Honda Electric Cars

Honda electric car gets 118 but costs add up

FILE -In this 16, 2011, file photo, the new 2013 Honda Fit EV is seen its debut at the Los Angeles Auto in Los Angeles. Honda said June 6, 2012, that the Fit EV has received the highest fuel rating ever from the Protection Agency. (AP Photo/Reed File)

FILE -In this 16, 2011, file photo, Motor Co.’s 2013 Fit EV, is unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto in Los Angeles. Honda said June 6, 2012, that the Fit EV has received the highest fuel rating ever from the Protection Agency. (AP Photo/The Shimbun, Taro Koyano)

-In this Nov. 16, 2011, photo, Honda Motor 2013 Fit EV, is officially unveiled at the Los Auto Show in Los Angeles. said Wednesday, June 6, that the 2013 Fit EV has received the fuel efficiency rating from the Environmental Protection (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Koyano)

DETROIT (AP) — At 118 per gallon, the Honda Fit electric is the most fuel-efficient in the United But getting that mileage cheap — and it isn’t always for the environment.

Honda announced the eye-popping Wednesday, making the small, hatchback more efficient electric rivals like the Focus, Nissan Leaf and i-MiEV. It goes on the market summer in Oregon and California.

The Fit has an estimated price tag nearly as high as the gasoline-powered version. It take 11 years before a makes up the difference and begins on fuel.

With gas prices the high sticker price for vehicles is becoming more of a for American buyers, even the vehicles are far more efficient their gas-powered counterparts. hurting sales of electrics.

May, carmakers sold over 10,000 electric less than 0.2 percent of car and truck sales.

That’s the numbers don’t add up for the average

— The electric Fit needs 28.6 hours of electricity to go 100 miles. At the average price of 11.6 per kilowatt hour, that $3.30.

A gas-powered automatic-transmission Fit, gets 31 miles per gallon, to burn 3.2 gallons to travel 100 At the national average price of per gallon of gasoline, that’s

— People drive an average of 13,500 miles a year, so a driver would spend on electricity for an electric Fit over a and $1,552 on gasoline for a regular

— Honda has valued the price of an Fit at $29,125 after a $7,500 tax credit. That’s $12,210 than the gas-powered Fit — a savings of per year to make up the difference the electric and the gas-powered version.

don’t want to spend the money up front and wait for for payback, said Geoff who runs 13 auto dealerships in and Maryland, including three sell the Nissan Leaf and Volt electric cars.

are smart. They’re looking for the he said. Is somebody going to out $15,000 more for something gets them less than their car now? not happening.

At first, Honda will be leasing Fit EVs in Oregon and California, for per month. The subcompact seats up to people and can be recharged in three with a 240-volt charging A fully charged Fit EV can go 82 miles, a daily commute could nothing for gasoline.

And leases can sense for consumers. Carmakers can rates and subsidize deals in to make a car — especially one with expensive technology — more to buyers.

Jesse Toprak, president of market intelligence for the car site TrueCar.com, said he an electric Chevrolet Volt, it less than 35 miles a day his Los Angeles-area home to work and The cost of leasing it — $369 a — is comparable to the $300 he would on gas.

In a lot of these cases, surprised that people are not up to get these things, he said.

The between gas and electric cars can vary with geography, because energy prices wildly across the country.

In Oregon, where gasoline is 18 more expensive than the average and electricity is 16 percent an electric Fit will save per month in fuel. In Connecticut, has the highest power prices in the the monthly savings are just

The fuel used to generate power and the cost of gasoline vary by region —and affects how environmentally friendly an car purchase is.

Honda Electric Cars

In Midwestern states rely heavily on coal, an electric car produces 18 percent greenhouse gas emissions than a typical gasoline-powered car, to the Union of Concerned Scientists. driving an electric car there 50 percent more greenhouse than driving a 50 mpg electric

In the Northeast and Northwest, where a portion of the power is produced nuclear reactors, hydroelectric natural gas-fired power and wind farms, an electric car produce 76 percent fewer gas emissions than a typical car and 56 percent fewer emissions a hybrid.

No matter what the costs, Honda expects to the Fit EV’s 118 mpg figure, even it will lease only of the cars in its first two years on the

Honda predicts that the customers for the Fit EV will won’t be on a cost-benefit analysis. Instead, want to make a statement cutting greenhouse gases and dependence on foreign oil, Robert Langford, Honda’s of plug-in electric vehicle

Like the rest of the auto Honda isn’t sure or if electric vehicles will replace those that run on he said. The company keeps watch on sales of electric already on the market like the Leaf and Chevrolet Volt.

constantly on our mind right now and on our screen, said Langford.


doesn’t actively market the 94 mpg figure, because it’s too to explain to consumers that the car can that distance while on electricity. The Volt, unlike electrics, has a small gas engine on to generate power for the car after the is depleted.

What resonates more consumers is that the average driver goes 900 miles buying gasoline, said Landry, the car’s marketing

She also isn’t sure electric cars will go the environmentally conscious buyer and the rest of America’s driveways.

vehicles, Toprak said, sell en masse until know they will save enough to take a on new technology.

You’re not buying it to the trees, Toprak said. buying it to save money for

____

Fahey reported New York.

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