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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