• Feb 10th 2011 at 12:10PM
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Honda PHEV platform concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Honda is still toting the company line that plug-in vehicles are a "near-future technology" and that the ultimate goal of green motoring is a choice of mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, such as its own FCX Clarity. This, despite the presence of new production plug-in vehicles (Leaf, Volt, etc) on the road today.

Regardless of whether or not you subscribe to Honda's way of thinking, it's always a pleasure to welcome in a new electric vehicle concept from a major automaker, and that's exactly what the Japanese automaker will be bringing to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

Says Honda, "The Honda EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda's upcoming production battery electric vehicle, the Fit EV, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012." Honda also notes that the concept is designed "to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter," and to that end, seats five passengers and has room for their cargo in the hatch.

Range will come in at 100 miles (using the U.S. LA4 City Cycle), and there will be three separate driving modes (as seen in the CR-Z hybrid hatchback) along with "several interactive coaching systems to assist the driver in maximising battery range." Honda will also show off a matching prototype Honda Charging Stand for electric vehicles.

The other major draw at the Honda display will be a new plug-in hybrid platform that will showcase the automaker's next-gen two-motor hybrid drivetrain. Unlike Honda's current Integrated Motor Assist technology, this will be a full hybrid system with three modes: all-electric, petrol-electric and an engine direct-drive mode. Honda has packaged the hybrid technology in a midsize platform – roughly the size of an Accord, we'd imagine.

We certainly look forward to seeing what Honda has in store for Geneva, but in the meantime, feel free to scan though the press release after the break for more clues.

Honda Fit EV
  • Honda Fit EV
  • Honda Fit EV

  • Honda Fit EV
  • Honda Fit EV

  • Honda Fit EV interior
  • Honda Fit EV interior

  • Honda PHEV platform concept
  • Honda PHEV platform concept

  • Honda Charging Station
  • Honda Charging Station

[Source: Honda]
Show full PR text
Honda EV Concept and Plug-in Hybrid Platform feature at Geneva International Motor Show 2011

The all-new Honda EV Concept electric vehicle will be displayed in Geneva, alongside a platform for mid size plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The concepts will be shown as part of Honda's "Road to Zero Emissions", illustrating the current technology of hybrids alongside the near-future technology of plug-in vehicles and the ultimate goal of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, like Honda's FCX Clarity.

Both vehicles are integral to the Honda Electric Mobility Network, the company's comprehensive approach to reducing CO2 emissions through innovative products, energy-management and energy-production technologies.

The Honda EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda's upcoming production battery electric vehicle, the Fit EV, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012. The all-new plug-in hybrid platform showcases Honda's next-generation, two-motor hybrid technology set to debut in 2012.

Honda EV Concept

The EV Concept is designed to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter and utilises the same 5-passenger layout found in the popular Fit hatchback (known as Jazz in Europe).

The Honda EV Concept will achieve an estimated 160 km (100 mile) driving range per charge using the US EPA LA4* city cycle . Driving range can be maximised by use of an innovative 3-mode electric drive system, adapted from the 2011 Honda CR-Z sporty hybrid. In addition to this, the Honda EV Concept will include several interactive coaching systems to assist the driver in maximising battery range.

Alongside the Honda EV Concept will be a prototype Honda charging stand, providing a glimpse at the future of an electric-charging infrastructure that is easy to use and intuitive for consumers.

Honda Plug-in Hybrid

Honda will also unveil a plug-in hybrid platform, which showcases Honda's next-generation two-motor hybrid system. Integrated into a mid-size sedan platform, the plug-in hybrid is designed to be compatible with daily driving habits, allowing for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode, while providing long-distance driving capability when needed.

The Honda two-motor system continuously moves through three different modes to maximise driving efficiency: all-electric, petrol-electric and a engine direct-drive mode. The plug-in hybrid also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery.

FCX Clarity

The FCX Clarity will be displayed alongside the two concept vehicles demonstrating its position as the ultimate solution to zero emissions mobility. The world's first production fuel cell electric vehicle has been available to lease in the US and Japan since 2008.

Honda Range at Geneva Motor Show 2011


The Geneva Motor Show will be the European motor show debut of the revised Honda Jazz and marks the return of a CVT automatic transmission to the endlessly flexible B-segment hatchback.

Jazz Hybrid

The Jazz Hybrid will go on sale in March 2011 in many markets and will be shown in full production specification, further demonstrating Honda's continuing commitment to petrol-electric hybrid technology.


The revised Honda Accord sedan and Tourer models will make their debut at the show. Both cars receive a host of changes including enhanced styling, emissions, ride and handling.


The 2011 Honda Insight will feature a revised interior. The car also features revised suspension components and settings, specification changes and two new exterior colours.


The world's first 6-speed manual hybrid coupe, the Honda CR-Z will grace the stand at the Geneva Motor Show.


Joining the Accord in the safety zone of the Geneva Motor Show stand is the CR-V equipped with the Euro NCAP award-winning Collision Mitigation Brake System, the Honda-developed autonomous emergency braking system.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      stop any expenditures toward honda because they already have their green car but don't sell it. Their green car is called fcx. They prefer collecting petrol money instead and lauph of their customers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ah well, bring it but given Honda's impressive streak of epic fails lately I wouldn't expect to be dazzled.

      as for the 'ultimate' solution, even if remotely ambitious then ultimate has to be fusion power onboard the vehicle. batteries are cool but can't really be seen as the ultimate power source for a vehicle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Since the US would be making hydrogen from FRACKing, which brings with it water pollution and high cancer rates, the Clarity should be Canned.

      Electric Vehicles can run on Coal, Natural Gas [ old power sources ], to Nuclear( Thorium ), Wind and Solar.

      It's time shareholders started putting pressure on the "oil" industry to spend some Innovation Dollars and Join the Present.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I could only stomach about 15 minutes.
        [ It's running on HBO now. ]
        It's like watching cancer grow, Fracking is supposed to be some kind of economic boom, yet, it's more like economic, politiical, and environmental suicide.

        And we have an alternative with non of the destructive damage: Wind Power is Now as cheap as coal and natural gas in most states. These big 3 MegaWatt windmills have quick payoff, with none of the cancer, none of the fresh water damage.

        Shareholders need to speak up and tell oil to get out of dirty old 1900 technology.

        • 4 Years Ago
        "Since the US would be making hydrogen from FRACKing"

        hmmm. Yet another good reason to scrap hydrogen. IF they were ever able to produce semi-affordable FCVs, I could easily see oil & natural gas execs going to cities and saying they need to open up their areas to fracking otherwise they won't have a hydrogen infrastructure. This stuff toxifies the water table..that would definitely be a nightmare scenario. This tech really has nothing going for it other than sleazy fanboys and entrenched monopolistic interests.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Have you watched Gasland? Scary stuff:
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hydrogen could be produced by many methods that don't require fossil fuels. The DoE is betting that it will have to be, since we all agree that fossil fuels are finite resources.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Are those hub motors in the front "wheels"?

      If so, it would seem to be a serial hybrid?

        • 8 Months Ago
        There are definitely no hub motors. It's sort of serial in that it seems there's always a motor-generator spinning along with the wheels, while the engine and other motor can be de-clutched. One mystery is where the transmission fits in, I can't see it in the photo but there must be something behind the engine-motor-clutch-??? that is hooked up to those yellow shafts behind it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Forget these Hybrids and make an electric Insight mk.1 style car and you will clean up, Honda! it is such an obvious idea that it pains me to see them not do it..
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stop any expenditures to honda till they sell their fcx hydrogen car to customers.
        • 8 Months Ago
        The comment system is giving me trouble too.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I had to do it more then once because the line was hack by someone and it wasn't registering???
      • 4 Years Ago
      100 mile range cuts it a little too close for anyone that lives outside big cities. 200 mile range would ease range anxiety for almost everyone I think, and would even be good for trips if you could drive 200 miles, take a 30 minute quick charge break, drive another 200 miles, etc (assuming there were quick charging stations every 200 miles or less on your trip)

      I really want to switch to electric next year, but unfortunately, some days I drive right at 100 miles (2 round trips into town) and some days I go a little over...

      For now my gas Fit will have to do... this is why the Volt will do well, it's just too bad the electric only range is only 40 miles... pretty pitiful in my opinion...
        • 4 Years Ago
        No question the Volt went hybrid, driven by the limitations of current battery tech, mostly weight per kilowatt and the cost per kilowatt. I believe the Volt will one day be a BEV, perhaps with a new name.

        Lots of advances are being made in the BEV non-battery area: stronger, lighter steel bodies, 12volt DC to DC converters instead of a lead/acid battery, lower friction bearing lubricants, electric brakes, cast aluminum suspention parts. However, the gains we are waiting for are in the battery technology where we all are looking for a lower-cost, safe, light-weight, long range unit.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honda should just quit while they're incredibly behind on hybrid tech and go straight to EV's...those are tougher to mess up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      These folks already have a green car but don't sell it, it's the fcx. Postpone any expenditure toward honda products. They prefer collecting petrol money right now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Their two-motor system sounds a lot like the Volt.

      I can't wait to see what Honda has to offer here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Prius uses two electric motors too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The "two motors" refers to a generator run by the ICE, and an electric motor to drive the wheels.

        It's much closer to the Volt system, except they're being more transparent about also allowing the ICE to drive the wheels during high-speed cruising.

        "Honda also unveiled a plug-in hybrid platform at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which showcased Honda's next-generation two-motor hybrid system. This new hybrid system is designed for mid-size to larger vehicles and will be introduced in a future Honda model in 2012. The plug-in hybrid is intended to be compatible with daily driving habits, allowing for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode, while providing long-distance driving capability when needed. The Honda two-motor system continuously moves through three different modes to maximize driving efficiency: all-electric, gasoline-electric and a unique, engine direct-drive mode. The plug-in hybrid also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery.

        In all-electric mode, the vehicle uses a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and a powerful 120 kW electric motor. The all-electric mode achieves a range of approximately 10-15 miles in city driving and a top speed of 62 mph. Fully recharging the battery will take 3 to 4 hours using a 120-volt outlet and 1 to 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet."

        • 8 Months Ago
        Having a motor with a better power band than an engine with the same output and relatively poor efficiency on gasoline by going w/ a series hybrid aren't exclusive. GM may have been able to licensed some of Toyota's stuff and build a Volt that was both faster and more efficient, but they didn't, probably for patent and PR related reasons IMO. Who knows, Toyota may have even refused any attempts to license their patents since GM is their biggest competitor.

        In terms of Toyota's patents, a quick search would probably be beneficial. For instance this article turned up for me in my first search and it states that Toyota has almost twice as many patents as the number two hybrid automaker, Honda. As a sidenote, most major automakers are probably developing EVs, even if they don't bring them to market, because of what happened with hybrids wrt Toyota and Honda.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Everyone: if it's got a planetary gear set connecting two motors (one or both of which that can act as a generator) and an engine, then it's a variant of Toyota's HSD. I sort of understand how the Volt hooks the pieces up differently, but I assume GM must be licensing some patents from Toyota, and Honda must be paying GM, Toyota, or both. Is there any way to find out?

        HSD seems fundamentally better than putting a motor and engine inline, even if you add a smart clutch to the latter layout as the Infiniti and Sonata hybrids do.
        • 8 Months Ago
        So you now say the Volt performance is different because it has a large electric motor. But you want to ignore the large electric motor when talking about efficiency, saying the difference in efficiency is because GM didn't license some Toyota patent.

        And given Toyota is paying patent license fees in their own hybrids, saying Toyota has all the key hybrid patents is pretty hard to support.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Okay, fair enough, it sounds like the Prius system too.

        The Volt is not designed to get great mpg like the Prius. It's designed to drive more responsively like a normal car. Just drive one. I don't think it's a patent problem, unless you think Toyota has patented Atkinson cycle engines.

        Come to think of it, "unique engine direct-drive" sounds more like it has clutches, which the Prius doesn't have. This would put it back more in the Volt camp.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mike!!ekiM, there are a few hybrid (parallel, series, and parelle-series) configurations used and most manufacturers have their own version patented version. The Volt gets pretty poor mileage for a compact PHEV so I imagine GM didn't both to license Toyota's stuff unlike Ford for instance.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Hmm, this Japanese site claims "Honda's PHEV Has Different Motor System From Toyota's" http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20101224/188354/

        "... which is different from the one equipped in Toyota Motor Corp's PHEV and can independently operate the engine and the motors. As a result, it becomes possible to drive the vehicle (1) as an EV only by electricity, (2) as a hybrid vehicle by using the engine and the motors and (3) as a gasoline vehicle by using only the engine.

        Also, it is possible to drive the vehicle as an EV while using the engine and the generator to generate electricity and storing it in the Li-ion rechargeable battery, Honda said.

        Though the company did not disclose the details, it placed the driving motor and the generator next to the engine so that the engine and the motor can be disconnected by using a clutch. In the case of Toyota's hybrid system, its engine, motor and generator are connected by planetary gears and cannot be disconnected, making it impossible to drive only the engine."

        Which is sort of true, but from that description it seems Honda's engine will require a geared transmission as IMA does. The Prius and Volt suggest it's better to skip the transmission and use an e-CVT with the motor-generators so the engine can operate at the optimum load.

        That middle paragraph is the mode that for two years GM has been telling us is stupid! You never want to recharge the battery from the engine unless you're about to drive up a long incline.
        • 8 Months Ago
        why not the LS2LS7?

        The responsiveness is just a side effect of having a big electric motor, like the Leaf. There's no practical reason GM couldn't run a transmission setup similar to Toyota's and get similar mileage, but Toyota has most of the patents needed for series-parallel hybrids, which is why other companies like Ford and Nissan have licensed their stuff. I also think the whole range extended EV thing is another reason for going w/ a series hybrid, but it's kinda goofy IMO.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They must have negotiated a patent cross-licencing agreement. How many other ways can you build the functionality of the Prius system?

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