Google Reported Collaborating with Honda Fit EV-based GFleet
Much about Honda Motor Co.’s plans for an electric version of its compact Fit car remain either undecided or shrouded in secrecy. As Honda spokesperson Chris Martin emphasized at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, where Honda debuted the Fit EV, the car is “purely concept” at this point. But one thing is set: Honda will work with Google, among other partners, to evolve that concept into a vehicle that’s ready for production.
Google will be adding the model to its so-called “Gfleet,” which Dave Dewitt, principal engineer for Honda R&D, described as a “car share program with 2,600 members.” Managed by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the program has made hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles available to Google employees at the company’s Mountain View, Calif. campus since 2007. In partnership with the search giant, said Dewitt, Honda will analyze large amounts of data and seek to quantify “what kind of real CO2 reductions” can be expected with an electric vehicle like the Fit.
More all-electric models may be integrated into Google’s fleet in the coming months. A spokesperson for Google told Bloomberg recently that Google plans to “transition and expand” its fleet of 30 hybrid and plug-in models next year, “with new electric vehicles that are coming into the marketplace.” Dewitt said that while the Fit EV is the first publicly announced all-electric model joining Google’s plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius and Ford Escape models, the deal is non-exclusive.
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