Hybrid sets sights on mass market

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Right Lane Cruiser, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Traditional in terms of its practicality, it also conforms to Honda’s, albeit forward-thinking, styling cues.

    [xfloat=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2010_Honda_Insight-II_-_Video_Launch.jpg[/xfloat]Richard M. Hammond - The Press and Journal - Feb 11, 2009

    Will this be the big seller Honda expects? --Ed.

    HONDA justifiably lays claim to being a historically innovative company, particularly in the arena of fuel efficiency. There’s little doubting that its petrol engine development has been influential in driving down fuel usage across the industry, especially in the US, where its efforts to meet Californian emissions regulations in the 1970s were legendary.

    Since then, Honda has introduced no fewer than five hybrid models to markets worldwide. So it must sting a little that a fellow Japanese manufacturer beat it to the punch when it came to introducing the first hybrid model to really strike it big in the public consciousness.

    Honda’s response comes in the shape of the second-generation Insight. That’s right – second generation. The first model may have passed you by. Launched in 1999, the compact two-seater petrol-electric hybrid sold 17,000 units, but only 390 in the UK to a public with little concept of hybrid motoring.

    Ten years later, the world is a different place and Honda believes it is ready to embrace the hybrid at a rate of 200,000 a year, including… [rm]http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1062529?UserKey=[/rm]
  2. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    I think the Hammster may be mistaken here, I didn't think Honda's mild hybrid system allowed electric-only movement.

  3. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Rich, it does allow it in the HCH-II and HI-II models but it is very limited because of the small motor and limited battery pack size. You can't accelerate from a stop but you can enter "glide" mode (where the engine is off and the valves are in a special configuration to reduce pumping losses) and then add just a bit of pedal to get some assist. It is enough to extend glides and maintain speed over (very!) small hills, but that's about it. The pack drains pretty quickly when doing this (because the motor still has to turn the engine as it is directly attached to the crankshaft), so it really isn't worth it except in very specific circumstances -- such as gliding over a couple of very short hills to get to a long downhill you can grab some regen on.

    Nothing like the full EV mode available when driving a Prius.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  4. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    Ah gotcha, thanks for clearing that up Sean.

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