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While not as exciting as Bob Lutz, Takeo Fukui - the soon-to-be-former president and CEO of Honda Motor Company - has provided us with a few attention-getting quotes over the years. With the news late last night that Fukui (pictured) will be stepping down in June, to be replaced by the current Senior Managing Director, Takanobu Ito, we thought it'd be good to look back at some of Fukui's more dramatic claims. For example:

So, this is the guy that Honda will soon be relieved of. The announcement of Ito's ascention to the top spot in the company mentions his work on aluminum uni-body frames and compact sedans - as well as his work in bringing Acura's first SUV to market in 2000. We'll just have to wait and see how much of his predecessor's views on PHEVs and hydrogen cars he shares.

[Source: Honda]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's funny how sometimes honda expect to sell a car because of their brand. Honda you should learn from the america auto manufactory, they thought the same way and look how they are doing right now. it's very sad to see the way the company is heading. Honda fuel cell is a joke...maybe in century from now you might see them. plus the technology of honda sometimes doesn't even compare to what a toyota have.

      from a honda civic owner....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Regarding his comment on PHEVs -- maybe he has actually looked at the data.

      From the material I've read, PHEVs on the dirty US electric grid don't do any better than regular hybrids on CO2 emissions. And, that's not likely to change short of 2030.

      That's from this report:

      Not sure if this report is on the mark or not. This would be a great area AutoBlogGreen to do some investigating in: Would plug in hybrids reduce carbon emission in the US compared to conventional hybrids? I'd sure like to know -- especially since it looks like a lot of tax money is going that way.

        • 6 Years Ago

        This DOE/PNL report says just the opposite:


        Hey, wait a minute... I just started reading your report, and right off the bat:


        "From these two sets of scenarios emerge nine different outcomes spanning the potential long-term GHG emissions impacts of PHEVs, as shown in the following table


        Researchers drew the following conclusions from the modeling exercises:

        * Annual and cumulative GHG emissions are reduced significantly across each of the nine scenario combinations.
        * Annual GHG emissions reductions were significant in every scenario combination of the study, reaching a maximum of 612 million metric tons in 2050 (High PHEV fleet penetration, Low electric sector CO2 intensity case)
        * Cumulative GHG emissions reductions from 2010 to 2050 can range from 3.4 to 10.3 billion metric tons
        * Each region of the country will yield reductions in GHG emissions.

        More detailed results are presented below and in Chapter 5 of the report."


        Where are you getting from that report that PHEVs make the problem worse? That says just the opposite.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda is running on fumes. they used to make very good vehicles. I own two vehicles that have defective transmissions and Honda's attitude about it is indifferent ( like their dealers). I bought them because of the positive experience I had in the past. Even if they make a vehicle that gets 100mpg, I will never purchase another Honda again. They are a rotten, fraudulent organization.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hi Meme,
      I believe that those statements apply to comparing PHEVs to a fleet made up of conventional vehicles + regular hybrids.
      My question, and the Honda guys statement is how well do PHEVs compare to regular hybrids (not a fleet of hybrids + conventional ICs).

      If you look at the chart on page 7 showing emissions for the various vehicles, regular hybrids are lower than PHEVs for power generated using new and old tech coal, and are basically tied with PHEVs on NG generation. The PHEVs beat hybrids on nuclear, hydro, and coal with carbon capture and sequestration.

      The 2050 chart is somewhat better, but its still apparent that without significant progress on a cleaner electric grid, there is really no advantage to PHEVs from a CO2 point of view. I guess if I am the Honda guy and wondering where to spend money on new development that reduces CO2, I'm not seeing a real strong case for PHEVs -- at least for a number of years? It seems like Toyota has also taken a pretty reserved approach to plug ins.

      Thanks for the other report -- will have a good look.


        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey, it's always great to exchange information :)

        Our current grid isn't just coal. Our current grid is about 49% coal, 19% natural gas, 19% nuclear, 6.5% hydro, 3% oil, 3% wind, and 0.5% other. Wind is the fastest growing segment; it made up 42% of the new generation capacity that went online last year (the next biggest segment was natural gas). By the chart on page 7 that you reference, that's 49% at 325, 19% at 280, 3% unlisted but probably 300-ish, and 29% at near-baseline -- 150. Weighting that, we get 264 gCO2e/mile, compared to ~290 gCO2e/mile for the hybrids. And eliminating the gasoline-miles baseline (which seems to be about half of the miles) and just comparing miles on electricity rather than miles on electricity + miles on gasoline, the comparison becomes ~228 gCO2e/mile to 290 gCO2e/mile. That's a 21% improvement on our current grid.

        Furthermore, it's not as simple as just looking at how much emissions come from how many kilowatt hours of a given type of power generation. Charge on a smart grid and you can make use of what'd otherwise be wasted (spinning standby) power. Heck, just charging in the late evening alone will generally do that. Nighttime charging also allows plants to run closer to their peak output at night, which makes them more efficient.