The Honda Fit EV has made its global debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show – the all-electric vehicle, based on the Fit hatchback, offers a 198 km highway driving and a 122 km combined city/highway operating range, based on US EPA city cycle test methods.

The five-seater Fit EV, which will be introduced to US consumers via leasing programs beginning next summer, will be powered by a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 92 kW coaxial high-density electric motor which is derived from the motor used in the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle.

A 6.6 kW, onboard 32 amp charger allows for convenient recharging of the vehicle; with a 240-volt charger, the Fit EV can fully recharge in as little as three hours. It will feature a 3-mode electric drive system, adapted from the CR-Z Sport Hybrid – the system allows the driver to select between Econ, Normal and Sport modes.

Externally, the Fit EV is identical to the gasoline-powered Fit, though it offers a higher hip point to accommodate the under floor placement of the 20 kWh battery. It will only come in a single, exclusive color, this being Reflection Blue Pearl, and will also have the familiar chrome front fascia similar to other Honda eco-friendly vehicles such as the Insight hybrid

Additionally, the car gets EV badges on the rear hatch and decals on the side of the vehicle to help distinguish it from its gasoline counterpart, and it will wear distinct five-spoke alloy wheels and an aerodynamic rear spoiler. Inside, the seating surfaces are covered with bio-fabric.

Tech features include a standard telematics system that allows the driver to stay connected through a smartphone, PC or interactive remote. Through the Fit EV smartphone and computer applications, the driver can remotely view the vehicle’s state of charge, initiate charging and activate the air-conditioning or heater, to pre-condition the vehicle while connected to the grid, to maximise battery range on start-up.

The mobile application and website also offers the ability to set charging notifications and alerts to optimise charging times based on varying utility rates. The Fit EV will also come equipped with a standard Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System to locate public charging stations and frequently updated traffic information.

Meanwhile, the interactive remote – operable up to 30 metres from the vehicle – allows the driver to monitor the vehicle’s state of charge and cabin temperature, initiate and terminate charging and remotely turn on the air-conditioning via it.

Honda will begin leasing the Fit EV to customers in select California and Oregon markets next summer, and will expand to six East Coast markets in early 2013. The company expects volume at this early stage of production to be approximately 1,100 Fit EV’s over the next three years.