While many other car-makers (with the notable exception of Toyota) are jumping on the lithium ion bandwagon for new hybrid models, Honda will stick with nickel metal hydride for now. Honda President Takeo Fukui told Automotive News that lithium ion batteries are not yet reliable or durable enough for high volume applications. When Honda debuts a new dedicated hybrid model early next year to take on the Prius, it will continue to use nickel metal hydride batteries.
Toyota may have brought the first modern hybrid gasoline-electric car to market in Japan 10 years ago, but Honda beat them to the US market by a few months with the Insight. The Insight was discontinued last year after several years of slow sales. Same deal with the Accord hybrid. The Civic hybrid continues on at a reasonable pace, one that is considerably slower than the Prius. Earlier this year, American Honda Product Planning Manager Sam Abuelsamid
For every major auto show these days, Honda presents a gallery of images and videos on its corporate website. For the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, which is now taking place, Honda is highlighting not just the CR-Z hybrid and FCX and Puyo, but also the good old Civic hybrid
Although Honda has no plans to pursue plug-in hybrid vehicles for the time being and they aren't taking Toyota's shotgun approach of putting their hybrid system in everything they build, they haven't given up on hybrids. Honda is focusing their efforts where they feel they will be most effective. That means that larger cars, like the Accord, and crossovers and trucks will be getting clean diesel engines.