Trying to make up some of the ground it lost to competitors in the advanced-powertrain field last year, Honda has officially started sales of its 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid vehicle (PHEV).

The 2014 Accord PHEV is now available at some California and New York dealerships. The car, whose specs were announced in November, has a base price of $39,780 and can be leased for as low as $429 a month. Most notably, the model has a 115 mile per gallon equivalent (MPGe) rating, beating out the 98 MPGe rating for the Chevrolet Volt and the 95 MPGe rating for the Toyota Prius Plug-in. The model will also be the first gasoline-powered vehicle to get the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle 20 (SULEV 20) rating, meaning that the car emits no more than 20 milligrams of emissions per mile.

The Accord PHEV can go 13 miles in electric-only mode, and the big question is whether that – and the other features – are enough to jumpstart the automaker's advanced-powertrain sales for 2013, after a moribund 2012. The automaker's hybrid and electric vehicle sales last year totaled 17,292 units, down 45 percent from 2011.

Honda may look to Toyota for clues on how the US will respond for PHEV spinoffs of existing vehicle models. Last year, Toyota sold 12,750 Prius Plug-ins, about five percent of the total Prius line. The Prius Plug-in has an MSRP of $32,760.

Read here for Autoblog's First Drive impressions of the Accord PHEV, and check out Honda's press release below.
Show full PR text
115 MPGe Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid, Most Fuel-Efficient Sedan in America, Now Available at Select New York and California Dealerships

Accord Plug-In first vehicle to qualify for SULEV20 emissions standard

TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 21, 2013 – The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, rated by the EPA at 115 MPGe1 in all electric mode, making it the most fuel-efficient sedan in America, went on-sale at select New York and California Honda dealers on January 15 with an MSRP of $39,780 and a monthly lease price of $429.

Combining hybrid efficiency with a powerful dose of instantaneous electric-motor torque, the Honda Accord Plug-In is rated by the EPA with a maximum EV Mode driving range of 13 miles and a gasoline fuel-economy rating of 47/46/46 mpg (city/hwy/combined). The 2014 Accord Plug-In earned the highest EPA MPGe rating (115 MPGe) in its class4, topping all plug-in-class competitors. In addition to being Honda's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Accord Plug-In is the first production car in the U.S. to meet the new, more stringent LEV3/SULEV20 emissions standard, and will also qualify for single-occupant carpool-lane access in California.

Honda Accord Plug-In Fuel Efficiency Comparison

Model

EPA Combined MPGe Rating

EPA Fuel Economy City/Highway/Combined

Honda Accord Plug-In

115 MPGe

47/46/46

Ford Fusion Energi Plug-In

100 MPGe

44/41/43

Chevy Volt

98 MPGe

35/40/37

Prius Plug-In

95 MPGe

51/49/50


The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid is powered by an all-new Honda Earth DreamsTM technology two-motor hybrid system utilizing a powerful 124-kilowatt (kW)

2014 Accord Plug-In Now Available for Sale and Lease

Electric motor that also acts like a continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) mated to a highly fuel-efficient 2.0-liter i-VTEC, Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine. Electric-only operation is supported by a 6.7-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery, with high efficiency regenerative braking provided by an all-new electric-servo braking system.

To maximize driving efficiency, the new two-motor hybrid system allows the Accord Plug-In powertrain to transition seamlessly between all-electric EV Drive, gasoline-electric Hybrid Drive; and direct Engine Drive. Beyond its function as a fullelectric vehicle, owners of the Accord Plug-In will be able to choose two additional driving modes to manage battery capacity and tailor the capabilities of the vehicle to their commute. In its default start-up mode, the Accord Plug-In acts as a pure electric vehicle and will remain in full-electric mode until the battery state of charge necessitates the automatic switch to gas/electric hybrid operation. At higher speeds and engine loads, such as during aggressive acceleration, the gasoline engine kicks in to provide additional power. There is also a button on the center console that allows the driver to manually select EV mode – for example, if they want to utilize EV mode in their neighborhood, or in city traffic on stop-and-go highway driving when regenerative braking potential is increased. In the driver-selectable "HV" mode, the plug-in Accord acts as a conventional hybrid, blending electric motor gasoline engine power to maximize fuel efficiency while maintaining the battery charge level.

The plug-in Accord can be fully charged from a low-charge indication point in less than three hours using the supplied 120-volt charger when plugged into a standard 120-volt household electrical outlet (use of a dedicated GFCI outlet is recommended), and in less than one hour using a 240-volt "Level-2" charger5. The free HondaLink™ EV smartphone application will allow owners to remotely monitor the charging state of the Accord Plug-In.

Based on the Touring trim level of standard Accord Sedan but featuring unique styling cues, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In will be available in three exterior colors, including two standard Accord shades (White Orchid Pearl and Crystal Black Pearl) plus a model-exclusive Burnished Silver Metallic.

In addition to producing the Accord Plug-In, Honda has developed numerous technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, including the Honda Fit EV, Civic Natural Gas and the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Honda has also led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has topped the list of America's greenest vehicles from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for 15 consecutive years.

1 124 city/105 highway/115 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) electric rating; 47 city/46 highway/46 combined MPG gasoline only rating. 13 mile maximum EV mode driving range rating. 574 mile combined gas-electric driving range rating.
Ratings determined by EPA. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG and driving range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA
ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-PHEV-label.shtml
2 MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $790 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
3 $429.00 per month for 36 months. $2,499.00 total due at signing. Includes down payments with no security deposit. Excludes taxes, titles and dealer fees. For well qualified lessees. Subject to limited availability in New York and California only. Closed end lease for 2014 Accord Plug-In CVT PHEV (CR5F7EGW) available from January 15, 2013 through March 4, 2013, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $40,570.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and
the like). Actual net capitalized cost $32,768.63. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $15,444.00. Option to purchase at lease end $20,285.00. Must take new
retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by March 4, 2013. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, and 20¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with
MSRP of $30,000 or more. See your NY or CA Accord Plug-In dealer for complete details.
4 Among available mid-size hybrid sedans.
5 From low-charge indicator illumination point to full charge.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 48 Comments
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Days Ago
      I appreciate you coming back and answering. Thanks!
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      There have been a couple stories trying to say EVs use the same batteries as the ones that have burst in 787s lately. Those stories have been untrue. However, this car actually does use GS Yuasa batteries, same make as the 787.
        usbseawolf2000
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rotation
        According to Dr. Anderman, Blue Energy makes NMC Lithium battery for HV cells. Lithium Energy Japan makes LMO+NMC cells for PHEV and EV. Both of those companies are associated with GS Yuasa .... http://www.fkg.se/assets/Uploads/Andermanbatterytechnology.pdf
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rotation
        Correct. Boeing uses lithium cobalt oxide batteries. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509981/grounded-boeing-787-dreamliners-use-batteries-prone-to-overheating/
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      I still don't understand why they don't put more batteries in there. Or at least make it available as an option. More batteries are free with the tax-credit.
        Carguy
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Spec
        Ultimately all ICE cars that are converted to Plug ins or EV's wont work as well as a car built from the ground up as an EV. Tesla learned this from its Roadster and BMW learned his from its Mini and BMW Active E programs. We have seen Tesla's effort and It's going to be fascinating to see what BMW does with its next generation of EVs.
          Spec
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Carguy
          Yeah, this makes more sense. An ICE car converted to EV is not as good as a designed EV and an ICE car converted to a PHEV is not as good as a designed PHEV.
        usbseawolf2000
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Spec
        The added weight probably would require new parts for the suspension and everything else (for crash tests) -- pretty much a totally different car.
          Spec
          • 2 Days Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          I do not find the weight issue persuasive. Let's say we give a pretty heavy weight addition of 18 pounds per KWH. Adding 6KWH to a car is only 108 pounds. 108 pounds is not a huge amount that is going to tip the scales of a car that already weighs 2000 pounds.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Days Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          Curb weight of the PHEV is 3799 lbs. http://automobiles.honda.com/accord-plug-in/specifications.aspx The Volt's battery is 16kWh, and weighs 435lbs. Or, 27.18lbs per kWh. http://primetprecision.com/ceo-larry-thomas-discusses-ev-battery-costs-in-batteries-international/ Using that figure (please chime in if you've got better figures), Spec's requested extra 6kWh would add another 163lbs to the PHEVs curb weight. I do agree, that's not a huge increase overall, but it would impact the car's GCWR. But then you've got to ask, where would they put the extra 6kWh?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Days Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          Honda apparently considers weight to be more important than you do. They went through a lot of expense to eliminate as much weight as possible, including replacing the entire front subframe and hood with a new on made from aluminum. FYI, the curb weight of the standard 2013 Accord is 3200-3600 lbs. No doubt the PHEV is heavier than that, even with Honda's extensive lightweighting campaign.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Days Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          The added weight is IMHO the most serious concern. As you point out, more weight requires pretty much the entire car to be re-engineered to carry/withstand the extra loads and stresses.
          usbseawolf2000
          • 2 Days Ago
          @usbseawolf2000
          3,800 lbs is probably the limit for the Accord platform. Fusion Energi weights 3,915 lbs.
        Electron
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Spec
        A taxcredit of $400/kwh would make the batteries basically free I suppose but where would you put them in a sedan? I don't understand why they don't put plugs on CUVs instead.
          Rotation
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Electron
          Audi is putting a plug on the Q5 hybrid, IIRC. SUVs just don't go as far on batteries as sedans because they are less efficient.
        EZEE
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Spec
        I like the optional battery thing. I rarely fill up my trunk, so losing a bit of space (if it was there) would not bother me at all. One could also easily look at one's own driving needs, and figure out if the cost (ignoring credits) was worth it.
      Carguy
      • 2 Days Ago
      The Volt is not cheap but this Accord has a higher starting MSRP (and I dont believe it qualifies for the full $7500) so effectively the Volt wil lease and sell for less. When you buy an exclusively EV/PHEV/hybrid car versus a model (Prius, Lease, Volt, Cmax, Tesla) you cant really compare it to its 4cyl model; with this Accord its easy to try to compare this to its 21K 4cyl model and make an economic decision.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great to hear, although I'm really interested in hearing more about how the thing works really. Between the first drive which seemed to think that the ICE doesn't drive the wheels directly and said that's like a Volt and the spec release where AB puts the city mpg at 49 and Honda says 47 and the finally the baffling mixture of drives and modes it's really hard to figure out what this thing is. It could be an amazing EREV with it's extra boost motor to keep it out of ICE mode more or conversely if the 13mpg AER is rated like the Ford C-Max Energi, where it's overstated by 50% and AER means all-electric "unless you hit the gas overly hard or turn on the heater" it might just be more like the Prius PHEV. Maybe someone will have one at work sooner rather than later and I can beg a ride.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rotation
        "Great to hear, although I'm really interested in hearing more about how the thing works really." "The Honda hybrid power flow is unique, nothing like the acceleration assist-only system the company has used exclusively since the 1999 introduction of the Insight and later on other Honda models. The Accord PHEV has a two-motor design—one starter-generator and one traction motor within what forms an electric CVT (continuously variable transmission). The system operates in one of three power flow modes: pure EV, hybrid, and direct drive from the engine—through a clutch into a helical gearset in the CVT-E and into the transaxle. A shaft-within-a-hollow-shaft system and an electromagnetic clutch are packaged within the CVT-E housing, Honda engineers said, but a cutaway or exploded version was not available for inspection. The direct drive from the engine is by engaging the electromagnetic clutch located between the engine (with starter-generator) and the traction motor. An advantage of this system is that, in direct drive, at the cruising speeds that are beyond the hybrid operation, there are no energy conversion losses (from the gasoline engine used to produce electricity to power the traction motor) as in other two-motor hybrids. That is, the engine transfers power through the clutch and the gearset in the CVT-E into the transaxle. The direct-drive mode from the engine is engaged by locking the clutch at the most efficient combination of road speed and load, so at higher road speeds in particular, the Accord PHEV should deliver better fuel economy than with a conventional hybrid system. The car reportedly will run in EV mode up to about 60 mph (96 km/h). A Honda engineer told AEI that the direct-drive clutch could lock in at as low as 45 mph (72 km/h) depending on load conditions. There also are "sub-modes,” entered by pressing the control panel EV button. If just pushed quickly, it will switch from EV mode (if available) to hybrid. This would save battery energy for later EV operation or for future electric motor assist under high load. If held briefly, the button engages a power split to use the engine to recharge a range-depleted battery pack. This permits a driver heading for a mountainous area to restore the battery charge for performance assist." http://ev.sae.org/article/11354
          Rotation
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          True EREV operation is when the vehicle runs totally on electricity until the battery is too low to continue. Then it uses gas. In gas mode or electric mode it is equally (or very close) capable. The Volt is very close to this, only deviating in very low temperatures. True PHEV operation is when the car selects the most efficient mode to run in. That may mean using ICE power on the highway or under heavy acceleration because the motors in and pack are not efficient at producing enough power to travel efficiently at high power outputs. Or the engine might turn on to run the heater or other modes. The EV system might not even be able to spin fast enough for higher speeds (as on the Prius PHEV). The key here is that the car uses the electricity to increase your mpg, but it doesn't attempt to be a fully capable vehicle on electricity only. PHEVs/EREVs fall in all kinds of different places on this line. And thus depending on your goals, you may prefer one to another. Personally, my goal is to drive without gas as much as possible, so I prefer an EREV. I also realize that PHEVs are not cost-efficient (even with subsidies), so I don't quite get why a person would prefer a non-EREV (PHEV), since it is costing them more money and not getting them off of gas. The only sound reason I can see for these vehicles is because they can drive in the carpool lane solo.
          Rotation
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Lets: I already read all that stuff. I meant how well does it work in real use. Does it work more as a PHEV or an EREV? Is an EREV in just the city or on the highway and if you need significant climate control does it remain EV/EREV or turn on the ICE a lot? What's the real real world AER? I have a friend with a C-Max Energi and he's disappointed he can't drive to work and back on electricity only since the range is listed as 20 miles, but the real-world 13 miles isn't enough.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          The Accord PHEV can recharge its battery by using the ICE to produce excess power - an operation mode similar to the Fisker Karma (although the Karma uses that excess power for a speed boost instead). Running the Accord PHEV in HV recharge mode will reduce gasoline mpg. I wouldn't hold much hope for a lot of EV mode operation - the Honda just doesn't have enough battery to sustain that mode for very long/far. Articles keep saying 10-15 miles AER, so reduce that by another little bit (depending on load). "Does it work more as a PHEV or an EREV? " Could you clarify this by defining how you see these modes operating? The Honda Accord PHEV will likely use the ICE a majority of the time it's on the road, since it's AER is so small.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          So, a Karma is a true EREV, being able to run only on battery. A Volt is mostly EREV, except when that particular highway speed calls for the ICE to kick in, because running the ICE to the wheels directly is more efficient. This Accord PHEV seems to fall closer to your PHEV side, or at least runs in that mode much more often due to it's very limited AER, and due to the mechanical connection to the ICE at certain speeds as in the Volt.
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rotation
        Why does turning on a heater in a PHEV trigger the ICE?
      Carguy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its great to see another brand with a plug in option especially from Honda because there are lots of Honda loyal buyers out there who would never look at a Volt or Fusion. I think the real flaw of this car is the Ev range. GM got it right with the 35-45 mile range on its Volt. Despite what people tell you that is all most people need; our Volt has seen 95% EV miles after almost three months of use. Honda made a similar mistake when it made its Honda Accord hybrid a more powerful car instead of tuning it toward high MPG.
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Carguy
        As far as I know, the new 2013 or 2014 Accord Hybrid will deploy the same system as the Honda Accord Plulg-in minus the big batteries. so the new Accord Hybrid will beat a smaller Toyota Prius hybrid.
        Rotation
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Carguy
        Yeah, but the Volt costs a lot. I do prefer the Volt, with it's longer AER and it actually getting 90% or more of its stated range on the highway. This is a lot better than the Prius PHEV and C-Max Energi, which seem to get only about 65% rated range if you drive on the highway. But the Volt technology means GM has to put a lot more stuff in there. Whereas a Prius PHEV or C-Max Energi will turn on the ICE if you need more than a small amount of heat in the car, the Volt has to have an electric heater. All this stuff adds up. I just feel like the demand for good PHEVs/mostly EREVs will be stronger than the nearly completely PHEV design of the Volt because of the price differences.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      We must stop these time travelers before they create a rift in the space-time continuum!!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honestly, MPGe really doesn't matter. Since the Accord can only travel about 10-15 miles in electric mode before burning gas non-stop, whatever gains in efficiency the Accord makes is quickly lost when the EV range is depleted. At that time, the Volt, even though it has a lower MPGe, will end up having a DRAMATICALLY higher combined MPGe than the Accord as the Volt has a range of about 40 miles. People, it is just smoke a mirrors. Honda is bringing a poor plug in product to market, and trying to put a pretty bow on it. Automakers stress MPGe when they don't have very much range. Not to mention the average consumer doesn't even know what MPGe. And you want to know how it is 'likely' that honda is able to achieve a higher MPGe? I can't confirm this, because I can't find any technical data to tell me if they use TMS or not, but the Accord LIKELY doesn't have an active thermal management system, like the Volt. The Volt's MPGe takes a hit because General Motors decided to liquid cool / heat the battery. This takes energy, and this means that the Volt will use more energy to charge the battery, and to cool or heat it under driving conditions. Seems like a product decision, since the actual savings between a car that gets 115 MPGe or a car that gets 98 MPGe is TRIVIAL. I have a lot of information on my blog. http://voltowner.blogspot.com including a writeup on MPGe: http://voltowner.blogspot.com/2012/12/why-mpge-really-doesnt-matter-much.html
      Rotation
      • 2 Days Ago
      Because making heat from battery power uses up a lot of battery power. If you turn on the ICE, it is inherently inefficient enough that you can use its waste heat to heat the interior of the car (as ICE cars have done for a century). And gas has a very high energy density, so you can put out a lot of heat without running out of gas. As far as I can tell, the Energi can produce some heat without turning on the ICE, but it doesn't have enough to do the job under all circumstances, so if it is cold, you can be sure the ICE will turn on to heat the car up to temperature, perhaps robbing you of all of your AER. It's still very efficient of course, even with the ICE on, it's not just throwing that battery power away.
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I bet a lot of automakers will switch to '14 models earlier than normal, just because 13 is 'unlucky'.
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Ryan
        Is a 1977 car twice as lucky as a 2007 car?
        Luc K
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Ryan
        Rarely I've seen a car released early in the year not getting the model year of next year. So this is still norm. It just sounds newer that way... It's 2013 not 13 anyway.
        Spec
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Ryan
        It is 2013. I would have hoped mankind would be largely past such superstition.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Ryan
        13 is lucky in Italy.
          Dave
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Ford Future
          In the USA, a "model year" includes only one January 1st. So production for model year 2014 can stretch from January 2, 2013 until December 31, 2014.
      Ford Future
      • 1 Year Ago
      TOO BIG for me. How about a Civic or Insight plugin?
      GR
      • 2 Days Ago
      "Yeah, but the Volt costs a lot." The Volt and the Accord PHEV are roughly the same price to buy ($39k) and the Volt's monthly lease is about $100 cheaper. Given those things, in my opinion the only reason to get the Accord PHEV over the Volt is that the Accord seats 5 vs the Volt which seats 4. But if you're looking to get a longer ranger in EV miles, the Volt is the way to go.
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