Honda Says Electric Fit Beat Ford Focus to Top EPA Range Rating

Honda Motor Co. (7267) said U.S. government tests of its electric Fit hatchback show the car’s battery range exceeds that of competing rechargeable models including Nissan Motor Co. (7201)’s Leaf and Ford Motor Co. (F)’s electric Focus small car.

The 2013 Fit EV, available only in California and Oregon this year, averages 82 miles (132 kilometers) per charge of its lithium-ion battery pack in combined city and highway driving in Environmental Protection Agency test results, Honda said in an e-mailed statement. The EPA rates the Leaf as averaging 73 miles per charge, lower than the Focus’s 76 miles and higher than the 62 miles for Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (7211)’s i-MiEV.

The Fit, whose availability will be expanded to other U.S. regions in 2013, is also faster in recharging than competing models as the small hatchback needs only three hours to get a full charge from a 240-volt electric outlet, Tokyo-based Honda said.

Automakers are adding electric and plug-in hybrid autos to their U.S. lineups to meet demand for vehicles that use little or no gasoline and to comply with rules in California. Honda, Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Nissan, Ford, General Motors Co. (GM) and Chrysler Group LLC have to sell a total of about 60,000 such vehicles from this model year through 2014, and more than a 1 million annually by 2025.

The Fit EV is currently available only as a leased model, with customers required to pay $389 a month, the company said in April. The annual cost of electricity to refuel the car should be about $500, Honda said in the statement.

Honda’s U.S. headquarters are in Torrance, California.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at aohnsman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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