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Honda Accord plug-in hybrid demonstrator – Click above for high-res image gallery

Back in December of 2010, Honda unveiled an Accord dressed in vinyl that read "Plug-in Hybrid." Though that plug-in hybrid was nothing more than an early-stage prototype, Honda did reveal these preliminary specs for its plug-in:
  • This new hybrid system is designed for mid-size to larger vehicles and will be introduced in a future Honda model in 2012.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Now, Automotive News (sub. req.) reports that the prototype plug-in Accord features a "suitcase-sized" lithium-ion battery pack that robs the mid-size sedan of much of its trunk space. Furthermore, AN claims that the plug-in version of the Accord – complete with an aluminum hood and other weight-reducing features – tips the scales at 330 pounds more than its gas-engined counterpart. According to AN, an engineer involved with Honda's plug-in project says that testing will continue through the end of 2011. As we see it, a porky mid-size sedan without much in the way of trunk space probably won't be the type of vehicle that knocks the Toyota Prius from its chart-topping hybrid sales position.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Camry Hybrid weighs 373 lbs more than the Camry 4 cyl w/ 6 speed transmission. So once again... shoot from the hip criticism isn't very accurate. The battery has to go somewhere, even on a little prius. I'm betting that the Accord Hybrid has more cu feet of trunk space, when it enters the market, than the prius. There is more to gained globally from improving gas milage on big vehicles than small. While the Accord probably represents something near the middle of the size range in N.A. vehicals, it still offers more return than focusing on a corolla sized car. That said, the Civic Hybrid, complete with IMA continues to be the second largest hybrid in terms of sales. Cool stuff.
      skierpage
      • 4 Years Ago
      Are there any more engineering details on the Honda "two-motor system" and the "unique, engine direct drive mode"? Honda's web site says: "The vehicle can also run in a gasoline-electric hybrid mode, powered by a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, i-VTEC® inline 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine and paired with an electric continuously variable transmission (E-CVT)." Two motor(-generator)s, e-CVT... sounds exactly like Toyota's HSD, and GM's Voltec. I wonder if Honda will buy the transmissions from Toyota and/or its subsidiary Aisin, as Ford does? Like GM, they'll never admit it! That 62 mph all-electric top speed is identical to the Prius plug-in hybrid, and is the Japanese 100 km/h speed limit. I wonder if it's a limitation of the current generation HSD, surely if engineers could bump it to 70 mph for the US market they would.
        usbseawolf2000
        • 4 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        Yea, E-CVT pairing with Atkinson cycle definitely sounds like HSD. I wouldn't be surprised if Honda is licensing it from Toyota. 62 MPH is set by software to prevent MG1 from spinning too fast. At that speed, MG1 is still not spinning at the maximum RPM. I am sure they put some safety room for reliability reasons. There is a way to slow down the MG1 and still drive at higher speed. That requires the gas engine to be spinning (
      Spec
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seems decent but I'd like to see the battery size bumped up to 10KWH or 16KWH
        Tahama
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Spec
        of course, it would cost a deal more if they did so.
          Spec
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Tahama
          Actually . . . no, not really. For any plug in hybrid you get a tax-credit for the battery for around $450/KWH up to 16KWH. Thus, the Federal government will pay to increase the battery size.
        usbseawolf2000
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Where would it fit in the car? Give up one seat like the Volt?
      Ford Future
      • 4 Years Ago
      will there be a station-wagon? Something with high mpg to replace the SUV.
      krona2k
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't understand why they're doing this, by 2015 the whole world will have a complete hydrogen infrastructure and Honda will be selling 10 million FCX Clarities a year. Oh sorry, I just drifted off into cloud cuckoo land there for a second.
        letstakeawalk
        • 4 Years Ago
        @krona2k
        Honda has many different offerings, to suit many tastes and needs. That's a good business strategy. Hybrids will certainly garner a lion's share of the market for at least the next decade. Your hyperbole is certainly humorous to consider, but let's just be happy to see this new Accord PHEV hit the market next year! http://green.autoblog.com/2011/05/30/honda-air-liquide-clean-energy-partnership-hydrogen-europe/
      Edge
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now that's how a hybrid should be done, and sounds similar to Toyota's plug-in Prius coming in the same time frame. It's probably a good balance between range and cost, and the recharge times are more than reasonable, especially on a 120v plug. Only 330 pounds more than the gasser is impressive, considering the weight of a electric motor, and battery.
        Spec
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Edge
        They should make the battery bigger though since you get a tax deduction for the battery up to 16KWH. So adding more battery capacity to it costs the consumer pretty much nothing more.
          usbseawolf2000
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Tax credit cannot cover the cost of the battery. Volt is still $11k more expensive than the most expensive Cruze. What about when the tax credit run out? How about other countries? It doesn't make sense to engineer a car around a tax credit from a specific country.
          usbseawolf2000
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Spec
          More battery means more weight, more cost and less interior room. 15 miles EV range can cover 51% of the US typical COMMUTE. Use the gas engine for the other 49% of the trip and those long freedom trips. http://www.bts.gov/publications/omnistats/volume_03_issue_04/html/figure_02.html For a plugin hybrid, 15 EV miles sounds like an ideal choice. The battery pack is used for half of the trip (not necessarily distance) and gas engine for the other half. Since short trips (MPG killer) will be covered by the battery, it'll make the gas engine usage even more efficient. Since not all the trips are for commuting. If we take all the trips, 15 miles can cover 75% of the trips! http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/images/facts/fotw612.gif
          Spec
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Spec
          But it is not more cost since the tax-credit pays the cost. The amount of additional weight for a few more KWH of battery really is not much and worth trade off. The space issue is somewhat real but that is why they need to stop retro-fitting gas cars and build PHEVs from the ground up. They can then organize the space better such that battery does not use trunk space.
      BipDBo
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd like to put in a vote for a plug-in Odyssey.
      tantareanujellob
      • 4 Years Ago
      They used to sell an accord hybrid and it failed. History will repeat itself.
        montoym
        • 6 Months Ago
        @tantareanujellob
        The original Accord Hybrid was built for increased performance, not increased mileage and it failed because people weren't looking for a performance hybrid, they wanted higher mileage and the Accord didn't provide that.
        Chris M
        • 4 Years Ago
        @tantareanujellob
        Not necessarily. There are many historical examples of trying again after an initial failure resulted in success. This is an improvement over the original Accord Hybrid on fuel economy, that and higher fuel prices might be enough for success.
      Levine Levine
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stupid Honda finally has abandon the impotent IMA after trying to shove it down consumer for nearly a decade.
      goodoldgorr
      • 4 Years Ago
      im not interrested to buy, more weight and more costly ain't green.
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