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From Insight to NSX and Beyond: Green Cars to Dominate at Honda

Two-thirds of all models to use hydrogen, battery power by 2030.

by on Feb.25, 2016

Honda Chief Executive Officer Takahiro Hachigo helping introduce the Honda Clarity.

Two cars couldn’t seem more unlike one another. Yet the Honda Insight and Acura NSX have a lot in common – and they’re trailblazing the path being laid out by Honda’s new CEO Takahiro Hachigo.

Though one car focuses on fuel economy, the other on performance, both rely on gas-electric hybrid powertrains, Insight and NSX underscoring Honda Motor Co.’s plan to have hydrogen and battery-powered vehicles account for two-thirds of its line-up by 2030. Today, so-called “new-energy” vehicles make up just 5% of the Japanese automaker’s model mix.


“We want to focus our development resources for electrification,” Hachigo said during a Tokyo news conference that marks the start of his second year at the helm of Japan’s third-largest automaker.


Hyundai-Kia Topples Honda as Greenest Carmaker

Korean maker credited for hybrids, downsized turbos, other moves.

by on May.27, 2014

Hyundai is just bringing its Tucson-based hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to market in Southern California.

While Japanese automakers have long worked hard to burnish their images as environmentally friendly manufacturers, Korean carmaker Hyundai-Kia has been named the greenest carmaker by an influential scientific research group.

The Korean partners displaced Tokyo-based Honda, which had been the top-ranked automaker during the previous five years, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The UCS credited Hyundai’s belated push into hybrids, as well as its new, downsized turbo engines and other pollution control technologies, such as the hydrogen-powered Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle just going on sale in California.

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Honda slipped to second in the study, followed by Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen. Detroit’s Big three automakers lagged in the study which looked at a variety of variables, including the production of traditional, smog-causing pollutants, as well as CO2 and other gases linked to climate change.


Honda Polishes its Environmental Credentials

"Earth Dreams" technology to debut on new Accord.

by on Jun.29, 2012

The production version of the 2013 Honda Accord -- the Coupe Concept shown here -- will introduce the maker's new Earth Dreams technology.

Honda, looking to regain some of the momentum it has lost over the past couple of years, plans to introduce its “Earth Dreams” technology this coming fall on its new 2013 Honda Accord.

Honda officials told that the Earth Dreams package on the new Accord will include a new 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder engine with direct injection and a new continuously variable (or CVT) transmission, according to Steve Center, American Honda’s vice president overseeing environmental business development.

Center also said a plug-in electric version of the Accord will debut in early 2013 as part of the maker’s overall strategy of reducing CO2 emissions.

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The first maker to launch a hybrid model in the U.S. – its original Insight model – Honda has since taken a back seat, in terms of its environmental image, to Toyota which produces the Prius, the world’s best-selling gas-electric model.  Recent Honda hybrids, including a new Insight and the CR-Z, have failed to gain the market traction the maker had anticipated.


Honda Named “Greenest Automaker”

Union of Concerned Scientists cites maker for 5th time.

by on Oct.08, 2010

The Honda FCX fuel-cell vehicle produces no emissions whatsoever when fueled from a solar-powered hydrogen pump.

Honda has been named the Greenest Automaker by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the fifth time the group has given the honor to the Japanese maker.

The award honors the company whose U.S. motor vehicle fleet produces the lowest levels of smog-forming and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Honda’s decade-long claim to the Greenest Automaker title has set a high bar for the industry,” said Jim Kliesch, a senior engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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The science-based non-profit previously named Honda Greenest Automaker in 2007, 2004, 2002 and 2000.

Taking such a title might have meant relatively little in the early years but has become an increasingly important honorific – and marketing tool.


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.”

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.