If you are tired of paying those high gas prices, but are unswayed by today's hybrids and electrics, you might soon rethink your pessimism.
The new 2013 Handa Fit EV has just been given the world's best fuel efficiency rating by the Environmental Protection Agency at 118 Miles Per Gallon with an unprecedented consumption rating of 29 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 miles.
The car is all electric, so the MPG is determined by an EPA methodology that compares the amount of energy used, with the equivalent in gasoline of how much it would take to run the same car.
A years worth of electricity to power the car is estimated to cost $500. Wow. Compare that to the estimate for a conventional automatic gasoline Fit at $1,500. And that's considered to be a fuel efficient vehicle.
The Fit EV can go 82 miles before a recharge, more than enough to get to and from work for most people. That can be compared to the Ford Focus Electric, which gets 76 miles on a single "tank", or the Nissan Leaf which caps out at 73 miles. The fit can be charged in three hours on a 240 volt system, putting out as much as 123 horsepower.
It wil be available in California and Oregon this summer, but east coasters will have to wait until next year to try them out.
As someone who has never driven a hybrid or an electric, I must say I am intrigued about the incredibly high fuel efficiency rating. With these high ratings, it is strange that better batteries have not been engineered to last longer and deliver more output.
I've also heard the accelerating beyond 30 Mph is incredibly slow and driving at higher speeds reduces battery life quite a bit. Even using the heater or air conditioning can have a tremendous impact. High MPG or no, I think better, longer lasting batteries are going to be the key to getting people excited about electric vehicles.