Honda released the Fit EV here in 2012, but that vehicle wasn’t long for this world. Now, the automaker is partnering with a major battery maker to develop a new electric vehicle based on the Fit.
Honda will work with Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) to create batteries and related technologies for the new vehicle, reports Japanese newspaper The Nikkei. By the first half of 2020, the vehicle will debut in China and other markets, although we don’t know if this includes the U.S. or not. Range should hit 300 km (186 miles), which already puts it behind other electric vehicles including the Chevrolet Bolt.
The Fit-based EV will come with a price tag of slightly more than 2 million yen, or around $18,000. Honda wants to sell more than 100,000 copies a year, which would make it the company’s top-selling electric vehicle. Honda also offers the Clarity EV on a limited scale.
Earlier this year, Honda previewed a new mass-production EV. The crossover will be available exclusively in China, and it will arrive before the end of the year.
China is the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles, and it also has a stronghold on battery technology. The Chinese government subsidizes electric cars with batteries made by local manufacturers, giving CATL and fellow battery tech company BYD an advantage. Chinese automakers and overseas manufacturers are often opting to use Chinese batteries instead of rivals from other countries. CATL is expected to capture the largest share of the global automotive battery market this year by shipments (19 percent) ahead of Panasonic (15.5 percent), according to data from Techno Systems Research.