The Fit EV is handed over at Torrance city hall

The Fit EV is handed over at Torrance city hall

Honda's US unit has delivered a Fit [Jazz] EV battery-electric vehicle to the city of Torrance - south of Los Angeles where it is based - as part of an electric vehicle demonstration programme ahead of the retail market launch in California and Oregon this summer. The EV was displayed at the Detroit auto show this month.

At a ceremony at Torrance City Hall, the car's key was presented to mayor Frank Scotto by Steve Center, head of the environmental business development office at American Honda.

"Honda has a long history with electric vehicles starting with the introduction of our first battery-electric car, the EV Plus, nearly 15 years ago," Center said. "With Honda's extensive experience and the real-world feedback from the city of Torrance, we will be even more prepared for the further customer adoption of electric vehicles."

Over the past year, Honda and Torrance have worked together to gather input from local residents about potential recharging station locations and jointly participated in numerous public awareness events with a test vehicle. Honda will also study local government fleet usage of an electrified vehicle. Torrance will also receive a Honda plug-in hybrid for additional testing at a later date.

Honda also has hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on test in California and shares a hydrogen refuelling station in Torrance with Toyota whose US unit is also based there.

Honda launched the 2013 Fit EV at the last year's Los Angeles Auto Show and announced plans to begin leasing the 123 city-mile per charge (76 mile range combined adjusted city/highway) battery-electric commuter vehicle to US customers from summer 2012. The car has a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery and 92 kW coaxial electric motor. Through a fast charger connected to 240 volts (standard US domestic sockets are 120V) , the battery can be fully recharged in three hours.

Honda will also test the Fit EV with Google and Stanford University.