Back in December of 2010, Honda unveiled an Accord dressed in vinyl graphics that read "Plug-in Hybrid." That plug-in hybrid (PHV) was nothing more than an early-stage prototype, but Honda does plan to launch a mid-sized sedan PHV in 2012 and when that plug-in hits the market, it will boast nine to 15 miles of electric-only range, according to Hirohisa Ogawa, a chief engineer of battery research at Honda.
Honda's plug-in hybrid technology will utilize a two-motor setup that gets juice from a Blue Energy Co.-supplied lithium-ion battery pack. Here's a look at some preliminary specs for Honda's upcoming PHV:
- 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 allows for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode.
- 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.