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Hydrogen Cars Just a Dodge, Argues Tesla Exec

Fuel-cell vehicles being used as props to dodge fuel-economy rules, says O’Connell.

by on Nov.20, 2015

Tesla recently launched its second product line, the Model X battery-electric SUV.

Fuel-cell cars are little more than expensive props used by automakers to dodge increasingly tough fuel-economy regulations and emission standards, declared a senior executive from the Tesla Motor Co.

Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s Vice President of Corporate and Business Development, told the Automotive Press Association Friday, that fuel cell technology simply is not practical because it will require a huge investment in an entirely new infrastructure to provide the hydrogen gas those vehicles needed.

The Last Word!

Electric vehicles are more practical because they do not require anywhere as much of a new investment in public infrastructure, argued O’Connell, noting that Tesla has supported an expansion of high-speed EV-charging capabilities off its own balance sheet.


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


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.”


Honda Provides Clarity on Fuel Cell Leadership

New hydrogen-powered sedan hits streets next year.

by on Nov.19, 2015

The Honda Clarity fuel-cell vehicle made its U.S. debut at the L.A. Auto Show. It's coming to selected markets at the end of 2016.

The race to fuel-cell supremacy just got a new participant as Honda introduced its new Clarity sedan to the U.S. during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Like the other recently introduced fuel cell vehicles – the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Santa Fe – the Clarity will be available in limited numbers and areas, mostly California, which is undergoing a concerted effort to expand the hydrogen refueling network.

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“Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a zero emissions technology that Honda believes in, and has worked to advance for more than 20 years,” said John Mendel, executive vice president, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (more…)

Honda Aims to Pull a Coup with Civic Coupe

Wider, roomier, sportier than the outgoing two-door.

by on Nov.17, 2015

The 2016 Honda Civic Coupe makes its debut in LA with development leader John Hwang and designer Guy Melville Brown.

Saying “Honda Civic” is something of a misnomer. There’s actually a big family of Civic models, and that line-up is about to get bigger over the next 18 months with the addition of new versions like the first-ever U.S. version of the Civic Type-R.

The roll-up got underway in earnest this week, Honda rolling out the completely redesigned 2016 Civic Coupe. The two door model picks up on the design theme launched with the all-new Honda Civic Sedan earlier this year, adding some of its own sporty cues.

Auto Show News!

“I think our customers are going to be utterly surprised by what this new Coupe delivers in terms of refinement, safety, efficiency and fun-to-drive performance,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda, during a media preview of the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe a day before its formal unveiling at the L.A. Auto Show.


Honda Set to Reveal Civic Coupe in L.A.

Clarity fuel-cell vehicle to make U.S. debut.

by on Nov.11, 2015

The Honda Civic Concept made a surprise debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show last April.

Honda has a lot coming for Civic fans, with a wide range of body and performance variants set to join the sedan version of the 2016 Honda Civic that officials begins rolling into U.S. showrooms on November 12th.

And the next variant on tap, the 2016 Civic Coupe, will make its debut a week from now at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It will be joined on stage by the next-generation fuel-cell vehicle, the Honda Clarity, which got its global send-off at the Tokyo Motor Show barely two weeks ago.

Breaking News!

“The second in a line of new 10th-generation Civic models that will be launching over the next 18 months,” the maker boasts that the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe “elevates sporty styling and dynamic performance.”


Honda Boosts Quarterly Earnings Despite Cost of Takata Recalls

Honda ends ties with Takata in wake of airbag scandal.

by on Nov.04, 2015

Honda showed off its new fuel-cell vehicles, the Clarity, at the Tokyo Motor Show last week.

Honda quarterly earnings rose 7%, to 127.7 billion yen, or $1 billion, from a year earlier despite the hefty cost of repairing vehicles using potentially deadly Takata aibags.

The third-largest of the Japanese makers released results for the July-September period, the second in its fiscal year, a day after it announced it would no longer work with Takata, long one of its most important suppliers under the so-called keiretsu system.

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“We have become aware of evidence that suggests that Takata misrepresented and manipulated test data for certain air bag inflators,” Honda explained on Tuesday. “Honda expects its suppliers to act with integrity at all times, and we are deeply troubled by this apparent behavior by one of our suppliers.”


Honda Baja Racer Reveals Revived Ridgeline

Baja 1000 meant to prove the mettle underneath the new sheet metal.

by on Nov.04, 2015

Honda's Baja racer is a thinly disguised version of the reborn, 2017 Ridgeline pickup.

Honda’s heading back to Baja, and that’s good news for both racing fans and those who’re simply hoping to get a good look at the reborn Ridgeline pickup.

The Japanese maker turned to the annual SEMA Show to announce it will be competing in the grueling Baja 1000 again, after turning in a series of class victories earlier in the decade. And the truck of choice for Honda Performance Development and the Proctor Racing Group? A modified version of the 2017 Ridgeline.

Keep on Truckin'!

While it’s not exactly factory spec, the truck on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center gives us a good sense of what we’ll see when the 2017 Honda Ridgeline rolls into showrooms not that many months from now.


Owners of New Hondas, Toyotas Most Likely to Keep New Cars 10 Years

U.S. makers don’t crack list’s top 15.

by on Nov.02, 2015

The 2005 Honda CR-V was kept by more original owners for 10 years than any other vehicle in the U.S.

If you buy a new car and keep it for at least 10 years, odds are, you own a Honda or Toyota, according to a new study.

An analysis done by of nearly 400,000 cars from the 2005 model year sold between Jan. 1, 2015 and July 30, 2015 revealed the top 15 vehicles were all Hondas and Toyotas with the exception of the Subaru Forester.

In the Know!

The top domestic vehicle wasn’t even fully a U.S. vehicle: the Pontiac Vibe, which was produced in conjunction with Toyota. The top vehicle on the list was the Honda CR-V, which was kept by 28.6% of original owners. (more…)

Latest Honda Airbag Recall Lengthens Shadow of Product Doubt

Industry tracking to beat last year record-setting recall year of 64 million.

by on Oct.30, 2015

The 2008 Honda Accord is part of another recall for faulty airbags. The maker is recalling 300,000 of the vehicles from 2008 and 2009.

If you own a Honda Accord, don’t slam that door too hard. The Japanese automaker is recalling 300,000 of the cars from 2008 and 2009 because the side-impact airbags may deploy if the door is “forcefully slammed.”

There have been 19 complaints about the issue, which the maker blamed on an incorrect sensor calibration. The problem affects both the air curtains, which are in the roof above the side windows and provide head protection, and airbags in the side of the seat that protect the torso.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started investigating the problem last year due to the complaints, which included several instances of the automaker refusing to pay for the repair. (more…)

Honda Clarifies Fuel-Cell Plans with Debut of 2016 Clarity Hydrogen Car

Japanese reuses old name, updates new model.

by on Oct.28, 2015

The 2016 Honda Clarity fuel cell vehicle will be available soon in Japan, but on a lease-only basis in the U.S. next spring.

Don’t be surprised if you get a slight sense of déjà vu when someone mentions Honda’s new hydrogen car. The Japanese maker has decided to call it the Clarity, the same name it used for its original fuel-cell vehicle nearly a decade ago.

After delaying the hydrogen car project for about a year, Honda finally introduced the production model at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday. It will soon go on sale in the maker’s home market and reach the U.S. by spring – or, more precisely, Southern California, about the only place where the gaseous fuel is readily available.

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In Japan, the Honda Clarity will go for 7.6 million yen, or roughly US$64,000, but the price is likely to be discounted in the States where Clarity will be offered “exclusively for lease,” the maker said, at $499 a month. (more…)