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Honda Has Broader Plans for New Hydrogen Car Platform

Along with new fuel-cell model, battery-car, plug-in hybrid models to follow.

by on Nov.19, 2015

The new Honda Clarity will soon offer a plug-in hybrid and pure battery option, along with the hydrogen-powered version soon going on sale.

Honda has become the latest automaker to launch a fuel-cell vehicle on the U.S. retail market, unveiling the production version of the Clarity hydrogen car at the L.A. Auto Show on Wednesday.

But the project is creating a bit of confusion because Clarity is more than just a hydrogen car. It is actually a flexible platform that will eventually be used for a wide variety of alternative-power vehicles, including a plug-in and a pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, American Honda chief John Mendel told TheDetroitBureau.com.

Plug-In!

Clarity “will be the platform for at least two” other clean models, Mendel explained during an L.A. interview, adding “It will be another pillar for us,” allowing Honda to expand its alternative offerings “in a more mainstream way.”

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Honda Bringing New Battery Car, Plug-In To LA Auto Show

Maker switching direction from focus on light hybrids.

by on Oct.27, 2010

Honda is moving into electric power but will continue to push its hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity, the maker says.

Confirming a corporate switch in direction, Honda Motor Co. President and CEO Takanobu Ito will pull the wraps off a pair of new battery cars at the upcoming Los Angeles Motor Show.

While the maker is saving specific details for the November 17th unveiling, it has confirmed that the preview will highlight both a battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, as well as a plug-in hybrid model.

The unveiling underscores Ito’s recent pronouncement that Honda will expand its range of options within the burgeoning electric car market.

Until recently, the maker steadfastly refused to move beyond the mild hybrid approach taken with such models such as the Honda Insight, CR-Z  and Civic Hybrid.  The Honda Integrated Motor Assist, or IMA, system was designed to recapture energy normally lost during braking and coasting, then reuse it to provide an added boost during vehicle launch and acceleration.  But unlike some competitors, like Toyota, with the Prius, Honda’s hybrids could not be run on electric power alone, even for short distances.

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Honda appears to have been reluctant about plug-ins and pure battery-electric models for similar reasons that delayed Toyota’s planned entry into such segments: the capabilities and the cost of lithium-ion batteries.

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Honda Makes Belated, Reluctant Move Into Plug-Ins and EVs

After fast start, maker slow to embrace battery power.

by on Jul.21, 2010

Honda's FCX fuel cell vehicle tanks up at a solar-powered hydrogen station.

It was the first to launch a battery-powered vehicle in the U.S. market, but Honda Motor Co. has been surprisingly reluctant – until now – to embrace the evolving electrification of the auto industry.

While its competitors have pushed into more advanced hybrids, plug-ins, extended-range electric vehicles and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, Honda has stuck with the “mild” hybrid technology it first introduced a decade ago.

But that’s about to change, the Japanese maker says.  It is getting ready an array of battery vehicles that will cover a gamut of applications, says the maker’s CEO, declaring the move “our highest management priority.”

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Power Up!

But will Honda be able to regain the lead it briefly held in the green automotive sector with the launch of its first-generation Insight, a 2-seat hybrid?  Recent offerings, including a new, 4-door version of the Insight, have fared poorly in the U.S. market, despite growing demand for battery-based vehicles.

“Our highest management priority is to establish a corporate structure that ensures a profit while we develop and commercialize advanced environmental technologies,” says Honda President and CEO Takanobu Ito.

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