Honda Shifts Its Focus to Production of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

June 26, 2015

imagesEfforts to develop natural-gas powered cars are being phased out by Honda, which plans to now focus on the production of electric and hybrid cars. A next generation, double motor hybrid system is being developed by the automaker, and the system will be featured in a novel Accord Hybrid set to be launched by 2018. Honda will also release a fuel-cell vehicle with an all-new design next year. This information was given by the Executive President of American Honda Motor Co., John Mendel, at a conference held earlier this week. Mendel added that also in the works are a new battery-electric, a new plug-in hybrid car and a three-motor hybrid system. He however, failed to give further details concerning the developments in question.

Mendel said that an extensive new generation of electrified vehicles expected to yield significant sales, are under development. The battery-electric car, fuel-cell vehicles, as well as plug-in hybrids will become Honda’s mainstream, volume pillar. The automaker will cease the sale of natural-gas powered models of the Civic Hybrid and Civic this year. This move comes after Honda withdrew the sale of Accord Plug-in Hybrids in the United States. The Civic Hybrid will be dropped partly because the company plans to redesign the 2016 Civic to have a range of more than 40 mpg. Honda has tried to commercialize natural-gas vehicles since 1998, but a great barrier has been the lack of a fueling infrastructure. Mendel said that the infrastructure just wasn’t as convenient as petrol even though it was improved. About 16,000 natural-gas vehicles were sold by the company, mostly to commercial and taxi fleets.

The combined United States light-vehicle sales of Acura and Honda brands as of 2015 are likely to reach a high record. The previous combined best with sales of 1.55 million was recorded in 2007. In 2014, the sales totaled to 1.54 million. The Honda brand U.S. sales through May increased to 547,044 vehicles, a 0.6 % increase. The total sales of Acura increased by 7.2%, and totaled to 71,560 vehicles. The uni-body platform of the new generation Honda Ridgeline will be the same as that of the Odyssey minivan and Pilot Crossover. Similarly, it will have a V-6 engine with a 3.5–liter capacity and an automatic transmission of nine-speeds. The Ridgeline pickup that it set to arrive next year will have a truck look that will be more traditional.





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