• Nov 8th 2010 at 8:03AM
  • 11
According to several reports, Honda, in seeking ways to build more fuel-efficient hybrids, may abandon its current Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system and nickel-metal hydride battery packs in favor of "next-generation hybrid technology" powered by lithium-ion batteries for all future hybrid models.

The battery and hybrid system changeover is expected to take some time and current Honda gas-electrics like the Insight hybrid, the not-for-U.S. Jazz (Fit) hybrid and the CR-Z will not go under the knife for a retrofit until next-generation models appear. Word is that Honda will debut its next-gen hybrid technology in a larger vehicle, most likely in one of Acura's luxury sedans. After that, the next-gen hybrid system with li-ion packs (presumably produced by Blue Energy) will trickle down through the automaker's lineup and eventually wind up in some compact models as well.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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  • 11 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honda reaffirmed that the Civic Hybrid '12 will be the first one with Li-Ion batteries but my guess it's still IMA given it's pretty cost effective for this model.

      Probably the TSX or RL will be the first one with a new hybrid system. But Honda indicated not before 2012. So still long way to go. They're pretty late focusing on larger hybrid vehicles and I think spent too much emphasis on cost than mileage (which worked in Japan but not so much in US).

      Ford and Hyundai already have competing larger hybrid models to Toyota models with great mileage close to a Civic Hybrid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      speaking from experience owning a 07 honda civic hybrid, If I were a consumer, I would wait until the next generation system and completely skip anything coming from Honda with the NiMH setup. Hopefully they put an active cooling system in their Li-Ion setup to give it longevity and make it more useful for people who live in areas that have warmer climates.
      • 4 Years Ago
      About time they got rid of that trash. Mild hybrid systems like IMA were never more than just a transition technology until better full-hybrid systems could be developed. Let's hope Honda doesn't continue the trend of being one step behind the game and makes something that bests Toyota's HSD.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I've been driving my mother in-law's 2010 Insight and i have to say I'm actually impressed with it. Her average fuel economy is 45.3 mpg's. Not sure what a Fit would be getting but I actually like it and would buy one if I was in the market for a new vehicle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So honda has to wait 3 years just to catch up to hyundai? Honda has been losing its grip, for the last 15 years, it will be only a matter of time before honda is out of the top 5 for the usa.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Really? This is the official sales numbers for the year 2009:

        TOP 5 MOST SOLD CARS/SUV to RETAIL customers (excludes full size pick-ups and fleet sales).

        #1 : HONDA ACCORD 272.462
        #2 : Toyota Camry 262.381
        #3 : HONDA CIVIC 235.624
        #4 : Toyota Corolla 215.943
        #5 : HONDA CR-V 179.630

        Seems like Honda tech sells a lot better among common people than the latest bragging tech that is embraced by the Honda bashers. Sure, Honda is lagging behind, they are lost and whatever else is wrong with them according to the critics, however among retailers Honda is #1, even without the heavy discounts and incentives of the competition. As a side effect is the higher resale value of Honda compared to competition. They are also rated #1 in reliability in USA and overseas.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So using Snowdog's analogy, since McDonalds sells the most food, they must be GREAT!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @P54

        Honda has already fallen from 5th world wide to 7th worldwide, Hyundai is now firmly ahead in 5th place.

        It is only a matter of time before Hyundai passes Honda in the USA, like it is has in most of the world.

        Honda can only coast on it's past laurels for so long.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My prediction: By not updating the CR-Z, it will languish and fail with IMA. Honda will cut the model claiming that people didn't want a little sport hatchback when in reality people didn't want IMA.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not likely.

        Honda clearly saw that the CR-Z was being poorly received early on in the cycle and they set very low sales targets and lower entry level pricing.

        How often do you see the sporty version of a car with a bigger engine priced under the normal version. The CR-Z starts under the Insight price despite being the better equipped sporty version, clearly Honda flubbed and they know so they are doing everything they can to save face, lowered pricing and low sales expectations (about 15000 in USA) so they can claim they are making their targets.

        CR-Z will soldier on and might even be half decent after they get an Si model.
      • 4 Years Ago
      water is wet