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November 17, 2010

World Debut of Honda Fit EV Concept Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrid Platform at Los Angeles Auto Show

Advanced environmental vehicles key to Honda Electric Mobility Network


World Debut of Honda Fit EV Concept Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrid Platform at Los Angeles Auto Show (13:30)

Released: November 17, 2010 Honda CEO, Takanobu Ito, speaks at Los Angeles Auto Show 2010

Honda CEO, Takanobu Ito, speaks at Los Angeles Auto Show 2010

Good afternoon everyone. And thank you for joining Honda today.

When I began an assignment in the U.S. in 1998, I remember coming to our Los Angeles R&D Center to see the Honda EV Plus we were leasing to customers in California. So, it is ironic that the debut of a new electric vehicle brings me to the LA Auto Show this year.

The auto industry is taking the first steps toward emerging from a century of oil dependence. Ultimately, we must advance from using less petroleum … to using no petroleum. And change from producing fewer CO2 emissions … to zero CO2 emissions. A change of this scale is not easy for the customer … for the infrastructure … or for automakers.

Of course, the move toward electrification did not begin today. The process evolved over the past two decades … including our EV Plus. For Honda, the progress of electrification never stopped. Rather, it shifted to hybrid vehicles as a bridge technology … and fuel cell electric vehicles as the ultimate technology. Now, with increasing government support and greater concern for the environment … society may be ready to begin crossing the bridge toward battery electric vehicles.

But at Honda, it is about more than just one vehicle. We want to utilize our technologies in areas such as electromotive mobility, solar power generation and cogeneration … to help people's daily lives by establishing a "total energy management system"– including electric vehicles. Together with our customers this will create a full lifestyle, yet with low CO2 emissions.

The great diversity of Honda products will enable us to achieve very efficient energy use and optimize the supply of energy down to the household level. We can envision the networking of such technologies at the community level. Through these efforts, we will work to realize a "total energy management system" that only Honda can provide.

We are now using the experimental solar hydrogen station at our LA Center. And we will make the second application of Honda's original solar cells in the U.S. to help power our auto racing facility here in Southern California.

But the reality is that people will continue to travel the hybrid bridge to electrification for many years. For instance, in the U.S we have introduced two new hybrids in the past two years. And next spring, we will introduce a new Civic Hybrid … our first with a lithium-ion battery.

Plug-in hybrids are the next key step along this bridge. Because plug-ins meet society's need for greater fuel efficiency without compromise to travel range … which is a critical customer requirement in the real world.

Today, we debut the concept chassis and power plant of a new Honda plug-in hybrid we will introduce in 2012. This new plug-in will feature a lithium-ion battery with a quick charging time … and an EV-only range of 10 to 15 miles. It will offer a high power and high efficiency 2-motor plug-in hybrid system for use in mid- to large-size vehicles.

Like everyone, our ultimate goal is to power personal mobility with electricity. But no matter how appealing it might seem … no one vehicle can meet every customer need … or solve every societal challenge.

Honda's long history with electromotive technologies has enabled us to understand the different technologies and customer requirements. The Honda Electric Mobility Network promotes electric vehicles … automobiles, motorcycles and power products … by fitting the right technologies to customer needs.

We remain convinced that a fuel cell electric vehicle … such as the Honda FCX Clarity … is the ultimate flagship for future mobility. It is a full-function electric vehicle … with a normal driving experience and great driving range.

At the same time, for the purpose of urban commuting, our approach includes a battery electric vehicle. Today, we are pleased to have the global debut of a new EV model. So, let me introduce the new Fit EV Concept.

In our view, an electric vehicle should offer great utility and be fun-to-drive. These are hallmarks of the 5-passenger Honda Fit. That's what makes this a perfect fit.

Fit EV is estimated to achieve a driving range of 100 miles per charge with a lithium-ion battery … using the EPA LA4 City Cycle that the industry is using for comparison. And again, we are leveraging our electromotive experience. This will include outstanding motor output from a coaxial motor first used with FCX Clarity. What we learned from the FCX can be directly applied to the Fit EV.

Along with the driving feel of a 2-liter class vehicle … Honda is taking a unique approach to giving customers a fun-to-drive experience. An innovative 3-mode E-drive system combines E-Drive technologies from FCX Clarity … and the new 3-mode drive system introduced this year on the CR-Z hybrid.

The NORMAL mode allows customers to balance maximum range and maximum performance. But in ECON mode, battery range increases up to 17 percent compared to NORMAL mode. And customers who want more performance can select the SPORT mode.

To advance the fun and convenience of communicating with the vehicle … Fit EV features a unique remote control function to provide near distance control in addition to smart phone communications. This allows the driver to quickly check the state of charge and begin air conditioning Fit EV … while still connected to the grid using just the key fob. And, as you will see, Fit EV also has state of the art telematics … so the driver can remotely monitor the status and function of the vehicle.

In short, Fit EV will be a smart, fun-to-drive and fun-to-use vehicle. As a short range commuter Fit EV is a perfect fit with the full-function, long distance mobility of our plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles.

The production version of Fit EV will be introduced in 2012. Honda will launch a Demonstration Program this year to provide real-world testing of these new vehicles. And we very much appreciate the support of the organizations participating in our program.

By adding these vehicles to our clean, energy efficient lineup of hybrid, natural gas and fuel cell electric vehicles … together with our energy creation systems … we have a unique opportunity to obtain real-world experience with advanced technology. This should lead to the best alternatives for the future of personal mobility.

We very much look forward to this challenge. Thank you again for your time.

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