Honda’s Electric Push Goes into Overdrive


Honda recently unveiled its 2013 Accord in Chelsea Piers on Manhattan West Side. The Accord was in sedan and coupe designs and had the star of the show, the company’s first truly plug-in hybrid.

After a very dismal 2011 because of natural disasters in both Japan and Thailand, together with bland reviews of the Civic, Honda is on the rebound with 2012 sales of 732,165 vehicles up until July in the United States. Overall, August registered a 59.5 percent jump in sales in 2012 compared to 2011 numbers.

The 2013 Accord does not provide major style changes except for the plug-in hybrid model with its battery pack. The plug-in hybrid model would be available for 2013 to be assembled at the Savama, Japan factory of the company. The Accord is driven with by a two liter Atkinson Cycle four cylinder engine that is able to produce 137 horsepower that is partnered with a 124-kilowatt electric motor powered by a 6.7 kilowatt hour Blue Energy lithium ion battery pack. The total output of the Accord is pegged at 196 horsepower with a range expected to reach 500 miles.

The Accord can run up to fifteen miles on pure electricity and then the gas motor would come in at high speeds. The vehicle has three driving modes, with the battery pack connected to a 6.6 kW onboard charger that can fully recharge the battery from a 240 volt outlet in just an hour.

Another model in the Honda fleet that is environmentally friendly is the battery powered Fit EV. This all electric compact hatchback is available at U.S. $389 per month for three years and surprisingly, without a purchase option. The Fit EV has a coaxial electric motor able to produce 92 kilowatts that takes its power from a twenty kilowatt hour Toshiba battery. The Fit EV can be fully charged in under three hours with a240 kwh outlet.

According to EPA range estimates, the Fit EV can travel 82 miles in city and highway driving combined. This in turn pegs the mpg at 118 but this is dependent on one’s driving habits. There are three driving modes, namely Sport, Normal and Econ and provides a full range of options for the Fit EV driver.

No surprise that Honda is recovering in no time at all.