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Honda Insight Hybrid
Honda kills three slow-selling "green" vehicles

It seems as though Honda just can’t catch a break when it comes to releasing automobiles with advanced powertrains. Its first two generations of Civic Hybrids paled in sales compared to the Toyota Prius; its first generation Honda Accord was an efficiency and sales flop; the current generation Accord Hybrid has been scolded for not meeting EPA numbers; and the recently introduced Acura ILX Hybrid was killed due to the poor sales.
 
And we can’t forget that the company shelved plans to bring a diesel engine to the U.S. for its mid-sized (and larger vehicles). Sales of diesel-equipped vehicles in the U.S. have soared following that decision.
 
Today, we’re learning that Honda is killing three more vehicles. The first model is the Honda Insight; reports of its demise began circulating back in February. The Insight never lived up to its mission of taking the Prius on head-to-head despite undercutting it on price. Honda sold just 4,802 Insights during all of 2013.
 
Interestingly, the CR-Z hybrid, which performed even worse in 2013 with 4,550 units sold, will live to see another model year.
 
Another casualty is the Fit EV. Honda’s tiny all-electric vehicle first went on sale in the U.S. just over two years ago and has been yet another sales failure for the company. Offering an EPA driving range of 82 miles per charge, Honda sold just 569 Fit EVs during 2013.


Honda Fit EV
 
The final vehicle that won’t be making a return for the 2015 model year is the FCX Clarity. The production FCX Clarity, which is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, has a driving range of 270 miles. Honda leased just 10 units of the FCX Clarity in the U.S. last year.
 
However, Honda will reportedly bring a successor to the FCX Clarity to the market within the next two years, likely to do battle with the Toyota FCV.

Sources: The Car Connection, Honda America



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No surprise to anyone
By MaulBall789 on 7/29/2014 12:58:17 PM , Rating: 3
I've long been a Honda fan, but these vehicles did not live up to their potential in any way. Except for the FCX (which I still believe hydrogen fuel cell tech can be viable as a long term strategy) the others were a very obvious and embarrassing waste of time. In my opinion they would be best served to take Tesla's open sourced EV powertrain and apply it to the Fit, CR-Z or Civic and start over from there. No more hybrids Honda. Toyota has you beat by a mile in this arena and everyone knows it. Time to move on.




RE: No surprise to anyone
By surt on 7/29/2014 2:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, when you have lost the battle, the best strategy for winning the war is always to surrender.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By MaulBall789 on 7/30/2014 8:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
Where the hell did I say anything about surrender? They need a new strategy for non ICE tech. Their EV and hybrid vehicles weren't able to compare favorably to the competition. It wasn't even close. It doesn't serve their brand's interest to keep pouring resources into something that isn't selling. Honda isn't going anywhere. They just need to go back to the drawing board and develop something that can actually compete with other EV/hybrids out there.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By ctodd on 7/31/2014 9:30:16 AM , Rating: 2
You did say, "No more hybrids Honda", which could be interpreted as saying that Honda should stop trying. That would be considered surrender.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By Harinezumi on 7/30/2014 12:54:40 PM , Rating: 3
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By toffty on 7/29/2014 2:32:37 PM , Rating: 3
Mind if i ask how will hydrogen be viable in the long term?

The easiest/cheapest way to get hydrogen right now is through hydrocarbons (oil) which still leave large amounts of carbon reduces oxygen levels when used. ie: fuil CH(2-3) [ie carbon chain with 2 or 3 hydrogen atoms] + reactant O2 -> 2 H2O + (waste) C2.

The other option is to split water and then create water afterwards. 2 H2O -> (fuel) 2 H2 + (waste) O2. Then in the car 2 H2 + O2 -> 2 H2O. There are two large issues with this though.
1. Pure water is being used as a fuel (higher water prices - this is the same stupid as using food as fuel
2. It takes more energy to split the water than is received when recreating the water. Large power plants will be needed to produce the hydrogen
3. Storing the hydrogen
a. Hydrogen likes to leak
b. Don't create any sparks

There is the other dream of making organisms that produce hydrogen but again storage is a huge problem (don't know about you but i don't want every house making explosives)


RE: No surprise to anyone
By Alexstarfire on 7/29/2014 3:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
Most houses already have explosives: natural gas, propane, gasoline (not so much explosive as it is just highly flammable), numerous pressurized spray cans (of which nearly all use flammable liquids to make it spray-able), etc..

I don't see how making or storing hydrogen at your house would be any more dangerous. Any home storage container for hydrogen would have to be able to survive a fire and/or dump its contents without having it catch fire.

To be honest, I'd be more worried about my water heater exploding and it has a lot of fail safes on it to prevent it from doing just that.margin after all.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By Adul on 7/29/2014 4:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
I had a water heater explode. It left the outer shell deformed.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By marvdmartian on 7/30/2014 9:03:10 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, ALL those things you mentioned (natural gas, propane, gasoline, etc.) are flammable, and not really explosive.

They simply burn so quickly, that they appear to be explosive.

Splitting hairs? You might see it that way. But in the true scientific world, they're all flammables, not explosives. Same as black powder, which many people mistakenly label as explosive.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By FITCamaro on 7/30/2014 8:57:57 AM , Rating: 3
The easiest/cheapest way to get hydrogen is off nuclear power plants. Cheap electricity + hydrogen. You can also use that power to desalinate sea water to help curtail fresh water shortages. All while not polluting.

But hey, instead lets use vast tracks of land for solar and wind plants that are only affordable when those building them aren't paying for them and then the tax payers, in addition to buying the power, also subsidize running the solar or wind plant to the tune of $20+/MWh. All while not providing reliable energy.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By MaulBall789 on 7/30/2014 11:23:16 AM , Rating: 2
FIT, I deeply wish we could get over our fear of nuclear energy because you are exactly right. Enthusiasm was at least gaining steam until the quake and tsunami in Japan. Fukushima is still having problems with contamination of ground water three years later. The memory will take time to fade, unfortunately.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By Reclaimer77 on 7/30/2014 4:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
The Japanese were incredibly stupid. There's no reason what happened there should affect anyone's thinking here.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By EricMartello on 8/1/2014 10:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
In addition to nuclear power, combined-cycle natural gas power plants can operate at 60-70% thermal efficiency, a 100% improvement over the typical 30-35% that most standard fuel-burning plants achieve. The best part is that we have a lot of natural gas in the USA, but we also have idiots who oppose fracking because they have nothing better to do. It's almost funny how "progressive liberals" are typically the obstacle to progress.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By MaulBall789 on 7/30/2014 10:36:13 AM , Rating: 2
Well, firstly because the phrase "long term strategy" implies that it's not perfectly viable in the short term. It very well could be in the not too distant future, say 50 years from now. I myself, am not expert enough to tell you exactly how it will be viable. Honda's current FCX, which has had a small fleet on the road now for a number of years in California, has proven that the tech is stable enough and has some real advantages over plug in EVs, such as superior driving distance per tank and short time to refuel.

Hydrogen fuel cells as a power source definitely has long term potential as a renewable energy. But you're absolutely right, there are problems with production (power consumption and waste generation) and containment of the created Hydrogen. For the time being at least. A major breakthrough or two and there could at least be more competition for plug in EV and fossil fuel market. I think that's the most important thing here. There's no free market if there are no alternative options.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By p05esto on 7/29/14, Rating: -1
RE: No surprise to anyone
By Etsp on 7/29/2014 9:27:26 PM , Rating: 5
Just because someone buys a car doesn't mean that they sell stuff...


RE: No surprise to anyone
By wordsworm on 7/29/2014 11:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
What excellent American choices are there? If it wasn't for Japan competing with the American companies, all automobiles made in the US would last 5-6 years.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By Kazinji on 7/30/2014 6:00:03 AM , Rating: 2
I really find this funny. What is so American about a car that is built in Mexico, or Canada, like which was built in canada Camaro, Challenger and Charger, which are 'American' cars that aren't built here. Some 'foreign' cars are more American that 'American' cars. Some have more parts that are made in US than the Big 3 brands. Honda Accord is made for the US market. Other places get US Acura's rebranded as Honda. Full size trucks from 'foreign' companies that are only made in US. BMW plant in North Carolina makes all SUV's world wide.

Many foreign companies make design studios and factories HERE in the US. Where the Big 3 are looking to move out of the US for paying ppl less. All that matters to me is how many jobs are made HERE in the US. Who owns the company matters not, they are rich investors that the 95% of money will never be seen at the low end.


RE: No surprise to anyone
By Kazinji on 7/30/2014 6:19:46 AM , Rating: 2
RE: No surprise to anyone
By Spuke on 7/30/2014 10:54:01 AM , Rating: 2
Good links! Thanks.


By Pneumothorax on 7/29/2014 12:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of these humdrum eco-kook cars Honda, how about releasing cars that blew away the competition at the time of their release like the Prelude, Integra, Legend, NSX, and S2000?




By Brandon Hill (blog) on 7/29/2014 12:50:28 PM , Rating: 3
By Pneumothorax on 7/29/2014 1:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
You mean this wannabe hybrid NSX that likes to catch on fire?

https://twitter.com/_Yu03/status/49230678604553830...


By Pneumothorax on 7/29/2014 1:25:43 PM , Rating: 4
Automatic fail for me for not reading the link...


By yashasan83 on 7/31/2014 2:13:16 AM , Rating: 2
you mean the NSX that caught fire that is a PROTOTYPE?


Fair Criticism
By Ranari on 7/29/2014 1:44:50 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure these are mighty fine cars to drive. Honda makes a solid vehicle. But car manufacturers need to understand that people don't buy EV's because of the range limitation, they don't buy them because they're hideous to look at.

The only EV that looks remotely stylish are from Tesla. And despite their price, they sell!!




RE: Fair Criticism
By surt on 7/29/2014 2:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
Plus Teslas don't suffer from the severe range limitations!


RE: Fair Criticism
By FITCamaro on 7/30/2014 8:59:38 AM , Rating: 2
Teslas also cost $60K+.


RE: Fair Criticism
By Apone on 7/29/2014 4:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only EV that looks remotely stylish are from Tesla. And despite their price, they sell!!

Of course they sell; Tesla's products target rich customers who are trying to be trendy and tree huggers.


RE: Fair Criticism
By grant3 on 8/4/2014 2:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
But car manufacturers need to understand that people don't buy EV's because of the range limitation, they don't buy them because they're hideous to look at.

If only Honda could make their hybrids look as sexy as a prius...


Fit EV
By Estee on 7/29/2014 2:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
"Another casualty is the Fit EV. Honda’s tiny all-electric vehicle first went on sale in the U.S. just over two years ago and has been yet another sales failure for the company. Offering an EPA driving range of 82 miles per charge, Honda sold just 569 Fit EVs during 2013."

This is an incorrect assumption. The Fit EV was/is probably the most popular green model Honda employs, especially after dropping the lease price down to $259/month with unlimited mileage. Unfortunately, as the numbers reflected, there was only a very limited number made, because 1) it was very costly to make and 2) it was only made to appease CARB/EPA credit requirements. I should know since I have been on the waiting list for over a year and I'm still #102 in line (folks are reporting the same thing all over the country).




RE: Fit EV
By CharonPDX on 7/29/2014 2:45:21 PM , Rating: 3
Same problem with the GM EV1 - they claim it's unpopular, when they really mean "we can't figure out how to market it to be a MASS market car, so we're going to sell it at a slight loss and not sell as many as there is actual demand for."

Nissan figured it out with the Leaf - they actually marketed it.

Toyota figured it out for hybrids with the Prius - they actually marketed it.

Chevy has even figured it out with the crossover plug-in hybrid Volt - they actually market it.

Honda hasn't figure it out. They just put the cars out there and go "why aren't people buying it?"


RE: Fit EV
By Nexos on 7/30/2014 6:48:50 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think you know what demand means. If they can't figure out a way to market it clearly the demand wasn't there.

Comparing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to petrol/electric hybrids and EVs is hardly an apples to apples comparison too. No hydrogen infrastructure -> no interest in hydrogen fueled vehicles. It doesn't seem like this should surprise anyone.


RE: Fit EV
By Nexos on 7/30/2014 6:54:05 AM , Rating: 2
Dang, disregard the second half please I thought you were referencing the FCX. Edit button anyone?


Fit EV = Compliance Vehicle. No more, no less.
By Braxus on 7/29/2014 1:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't say the Fit EV was a failure as it is mainly made as a compliance vehicle to meet California emission laws, similar cars like Toyota's Rav4 EV, Fiat 500e, etc. It was from the outset a limited production vehicle and once Honda reached the production numbers to satisfy the law, they would not be making anymore. Like many other companies selling compliance EV cars, Honda sells each Fit EV a loss. It's in Honda's best interest to keep the sales numbers of the Fit EV low.

The Fit EV is a steal as a lease, especially as a commuter vehicle. $259/mo includes unlimited miles, collision insurance (!!!), charger, roadside assistance, and scheduled maintenance. Sure some folks here pay more than that in gas alone per month. Most places around where I am have long wait list lines for the Fit EV.

Last I read, the only sizable car manufacturer that wants to sell an EV vehicle and can make money doing it is Nissan at the moment. Have a feeling that like how Toyota has cornered the hybrid market, Nissan will be in a good position for the EV market.




By Alexstarfire on 7/29/2014 3:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think Telsa will be the one to watch, not Nissian. Then again, that's just my opinion and I know very little about cars or the car market.

I know one thing though. I'm not watching Nissian to see what they are doing in the EV market.


By Spuke on 7/30/2014 10:56:02 AM , Rating: 1
Who's Nissian?


For $5,000
By GotThumbs on 7/29/2014 12:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'll buy a Honda EV Fit for commuting to/from work.

That's what I'm willing to pay for it. No more.

It's NOT as sharp/stylish as a Tesla, so not worth more to me than 5 grand of my money. My choice.

IMO. They should take it and cut their losses as best they can.




Fugly
By drlumen on 7/29/2014 4:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Insight looks like it was inspired by the Pontiac Aztec.




Ugly NEVER sells!
By wingless on 7/29/2014 4:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
Honda, a car doesn't have to be fugly to be an EV. Make a sexy car, that just happens to be an EV, and it will sell.




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