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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.


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.”


First Look: Honda EV-Ster

Japanese maker provides tantalizing hint of what it may have coming.

by on Nov.30, 2011

Honda's electric sports car concept, the EV-Ster.

It’s just a concept.  It’s just a concept. That, at least, is what Honda is officially calling the EV-Ster, the show car making its debut at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.  But you certainly should anticipate seeing some of the basic technology under its sexy hood reaching market in the not very distant future, company officials broadly hint.

The Honda news conference in Tokyo disappointed some who had been hoping to see a long-anticipated revival of the maker’s extreme NSX sports car.  That will likely have to wait until the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.

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If anything, the EV-Ster is a bit closer to the old Honda S2000, a more modest and affordable sports car that would pick up on the Honda brand’s historical emphasis on performance.

The goal was to create a look that expresses speediness at the same time as sustainable mobility,” said Honda design exec Ichiro Tobisawa.


Honda Debuting EV and Plug-In Hybrid at Geneva

Marks big, albeit belated, push into advanced battery technology.

by on Feb.11, 2011

Honda plans to have the Fit EV in production in 2012.

Honda will roll out a pair of new prototypes at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show meant to underscore the maker’s new commitment to battery propulsion.  Until recently, the automaker was earning a reputation for recalcitrance, dismissing lithium-ion technology in favor of older, more limited hybrids and hydrogen power.

The star of the Honda stand at the PALExpo convention center will likely be a prototype Honda Fit EV, which the maker intends to bring to market in 2012 – and use to directly challenge its Japanese rival, Nissan, which recently launched the Leaf, the world’s first mass-production battery-electric vehicle.

“The Honda EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda’s upcoming production battery electric vehicle, the Fit EV, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012,” said a statement from the Japanese maker, which referred to the battery car as intended “to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter.”

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Honda has long dismissed lithium-ion technology as limited in application and too costly for the mass market.  Instead, the maker has steadfastly stuck with its “mild hybrid” IMA drivetrain, which relies on less powerful but well-tested nickel-metal hydride batteries.  Longer-term, Honda has contended that the future is in hydrogen power – as used in the fuel-cell-powered Honda FCX Clarity.


First Look: 2012 Honda Fit EV

Maker sets entry into emerging battery-car market.

by on Nov.18, 2010

Honda will bring out a production version of the Fit EV in 2012, the maker confirmed.

Honda made an appropriately auspicious splash, Wednesday, as it staged its first-ever global preview at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

And, suitably enough, the event marked the debut of the Japanese maker’s new Honda Fit EV Concept, a thinly-disguised version of the battery car it will put into production in 2012, said the automaker’s CEO Takanobu Ito.

Though Honda was the first to bring a hybrid-electric vehicle to the U.S. market, it has been struggling to set a clear course for its future electrification efforts, in part due to its concerns about the viability of lithium-ion battery technology.  But earlier this year, Ito decided Honda could no longer dither and has announced a relatively aggressive program to expand its use of battery power.

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“A change of this scale is not easy for consumers, for the auto industry or for the (electric) infrastructure,” he acknowledged in explanation of Honda’s continuing concerns about battery propulsion.

But the maker has clearly recognized it must move beyond its current mild hybrid technology.  And the production version of the Fit EV – which will begin field testing next year – is only part of Honda’s strategy.