Print 13 comment(s) - last by WUMINJUN.. on Jan 24 at 7:57 PM

2010 Acura TL
Honda says it knows how to build hybrids

Today, just about every major automaker that operates in the U.S. has a hybrid vehicle or has announced plans to bring one to market. With the Detroit International Auto Show in full swing, many of the announcements have come over the last week. Earlier this week, Toyota unveiled the concept car for a new hybrid that will be smaller and cheaper than the Prius called the FT-CH.

Acura has also announced at the NAIAS that it will be getting a hybrid as well according to Autoblog. According to the enthusiast site, the TSX or larger TL would make prime targets for a hybrid system.

Honda says that it knows how to build hybrids as well as anyone and points to the fact that it developed the Honda EV Plus electric vehicle in the 1990's and sold the car to individual users in California. As it is now, at the time the car was introduced the battery technology was the limiting factor for full EVs.

Honda's Tankanobu Ito said, "We continue to believe that a fuel cell electric vehicle is the ultimate solution to reduce CO2 emissions. A fuel cell car IS a full electric vehicle. But rather than use electricity from the grid, a fuel cell vehicle generates electricity on board and refills more quickly.”

Ito added, “The development cost must come down and there must be a major expansion of the hydrogen fueling infrastructure. But make no mistake. As a vehicle, the Honda FCX Clarity is ready now. Further, Honda is unique in making long-term investments to develop the refueling infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicle."

Honda is also looking to go green at its L.A. R&D center. The company will be installing a next-generation solar hydrogen station at its R&D center. The system is designed for the daily refueling of a fuel cell electric vehicle. The device is sized to fit into the garage of a homeowner and the design eliminates the compressor.

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RE: Firsties
By dubldwn on 1/13/2010 12:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I think the CR-Z will fall into the same trap as the Accord hybrid– trying to enhance performance and fuel economy, failing at both. I think they could do that, but they need to use much more powerful electric motors and larger batteries, which would obviously make them more expensive. The reality was if you drove an Accord hybrid fast, it had bad fuel economy, but it wasn’t really that fast.

RE: Firsties
By Flunk on 1/13/2010 12:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, the fuel ecomony for the CR-Z isn't very impressive. Nor is the horsepower rating. I recently bought a Mazda 3 (2.0L Gas) which has nearly as good fuel economy as the CR-Z and 148HP which handly beats the CR-Z. I can't imagine the CR-Z is going to be any lighter either.

I can seem why people might buy a CR-Z because of the looks but as for efficiency a gas-powered small car is just as good, possibly better if you need cargo space.

RE: Firsties
By Keeir on 1/13/2010 2:03:06 PM , Rating: 2
As a bit of a defense of the US Market Accord Hybrid

It was actually a decent car all around and did get good fuel economy for comparable cars of the time (V6 Family Sedans. Remember, the Accord Hybrid had a V6).

In my mind the issue was the high price of entry which significantly reduced the value proposition. It really didn't help the Accord Hybrid was really only availible as an option to the top make Accord. Even if one was look for a little luxury, the Accord Hybrid was loaded with alot of stuff that wasn't really needed. With the Hybrid system, it was pushing well into the entry market for luxury cars.

But thats kinda what happens. Honda's IMA system is not designed around US driving habits and get continuely killed by the EPA rating systems. Even though its inexpensive, its doesn't really add value. (Toyota learned this and has progressively increased the electrical motor power and torque through the US market generations, leading to progressively improving EPA ratings)

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