By John Voelcker
The 2013 Honda Fit EV has earned the highest EPA efficiency rating granted to any vehicle offered in the U.S.: 118 miles-per-gallon-equivalent.
That's higher than the 2012 Mitsubishi i minicar, the previous record-holder at 112 MPGe, and considerably higher than the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric, at 99 MPGe and 105 MPGe respectively.
MPGe is an efficiency measure based on how far the car can travel on the amount of electricity with energy equivalent to that in a single gallon of gasoline.
The EPA has also rated the Honda Fit EV at 82 miles of driving range.
That's more than the Focus Electric (at 76 miles), the Leaf (at 73 miles), or the 'i' (at 62 miles).
So to put all the relevant data in a single table, here's a look at how all five battery-electric vehicles offered in the U.S. market so far stack up:
2013 Honda Fit EV, 118 MPGe, 82 miles: 20-kWh battery pack, 92-kW motor
2012 Mitsubishi 'i,' 112 MPGe, 62 miles:16-kWh battery pack, 66-kW motor
2012 Ford Focus Electric, 105 MPGe, 76 miles: 23-kWh battery pack, 107-kW motor
2012 Nissan Leaf, 99 MPGe, 73 miles: 24-kWh battery pack, 80-kW motor
2012 Coda Sedan, 73 MPGe, 88 miles: 31-kWh battery pack, 100-kW motor
(We haven't included data for the 2012 Tesla Model S because its EPA ratings haven't yet been released -- though they should be within the next couple of weeks.)
Honda's first electric car in roughly a decade should also be relatively punchy off the line, with a 92-kilowatt (123-horsepower) motor producing 188 lb-ft of torque to power the front wheels, giving it 15 percent more power than the larger Nissan Leaf.
We're expecting some of the car magazines to test the Fit EV, in fact, against the larger (and even more powerful) Ford Focus Electric to see which one has the best off-the-line and 0-to-60-mph times.
Honda quotes a recharging time of 3 hours for a fully depleted battery using a 240-Volt Level 2 charging station, likely indicating a 6.6-kilowatt charger (matching the Coda Sedan and Focus Electric, and faster than the current Leaf).
Honda unveiled a prototype Fit EV electric car at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2010, and followed it up last fall by showing the 2013 production version.
That was when it revealed that it would offer just 1,100 Fit EVs from 2012 through 2014, clearly marking the electric subcompact as a compliance car whose sole purpose was to meet California's requirements for sales of zero-emission vehicles.
Which is too bad, in our eyes, since we consider the gasoline Honda Fit to be one of the best offerings in the subcompact class, even after several years -- and we were eager to see the electric version hit the market.
The Fit EV carries a price of $36,625 (plus a mandatory $770 delivery fee), but Honda only plans to lease the car (for around $399 a month over three years), not sell it.
It will be offered this summer in select California and Oregon markets, and Honda says it will follow with a rollout on the East Coast next year.
We'll be driving a 2013 Honda Fit EV at the end of the month, and we'll bring you all our impressions of this latest electric vehicle then.
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This story originally appeared at Green Car Reports