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Honda Introduces New Hybrid System for the Civic

5 July 2005

Honda_civic_2005ima

Honda has revealed some of the specifications for its new Honda Hybrid System, which will be introduced in the new Civic Hybrid being launched this fall. The new system delivers 20% more power with an estimated 5% better fuel economy than the current Civic Hybrid.

The new system features a new 3-stage i-VTEC engine that employs Honda’s intelligent VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system to provide three stages of valve timing (low-rpm, high-rpm, and cylinder idle mode), combined with a more compact and efficient IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system. (Hybrid system shown at right—Click to enlarge.)

The 3-stage i-VTEC engine uses three hydraulic pathways to couple and uncouple five rocker arm assemblies, providing three stages of valve control depending on the driving conditions to achieve a combination of responsive driving and fuel economy.

When the cylinders are idle during deceleration, combustion in all four cylinders is halted and the cylinders sealed shut, reducing pumping losses caused by engine aspiration for a 10% improvement in recovery of braking energy compared to the current Civic hybrid.

The new engine features a number of friction-reducing technologies, including the use of aluminum die-cast pistons (featuring low thermal expansion for less friction under high-temperature conditions) ion-plated piston rings, and plateau honing of the cylinder walls for a smoother surface.

Honda’s independently developed electric motor employs coils with high-density windings and high-performance magnets to attain output 1.5 times that of the current model while maintaining the same size.

The inverter used to control motor speed—also independently developed and manufactured by Honda—is integrated with the motor’s ECU for more precise digital control, contributing to even greater motor efficiency and fuel economy.

Battery output is some 30% greater than that of the current model, while a more compact, custom designed battery storage box offers increased cooling performance and vibration resistance for improved long-term reliability.

The dynamic regenerative braking system hydraulically controls the brakes based on the amount of brake regeneration. This permits maximum braking regeneration along with smooth deceleration that conforms to brake-pedal pressure.

The air conditioner features a hybrid compressor that is powered by both the engine and the motor. When the engine is in Idle Stop mode the compressor is powered by the motor; if rapid cooling is required it is powered by the engine and motor combined. When the temperature is stable it runs off the motor alone, for both improved comfort and fuel savings.

The various modes of operations for the new hybrid system are:

  • Vehicle stationary: The engine is turned off and fuel consumption is zero.

  • Startup and acceleration: The engine operates in low-speed valve timing mode, with motor assist.

  • Rapid acceleration: The engine operates in high-speed valve timing mode, with motor assist.

  • Low-speed cruising: The valves of all four of the engine’s cylinders are closed and combustion halted. The motor alone powers the vehicle.

  • Gentle acceleration and high-speed cruising: The engine operating in low-speed valve timing mode powers the vehicle.

  • Deceleration: The valves of all four of the engine’s cylinders are closed and combustion halted. The motor recovers the maximum amount of energy released during deceleration and stores it in the battery.

Specifications of New Honda Hybrid System
Power source Engine Engine type and number of cylinders Water-cooled in-line 4-cylinder
Displacement 1,339 cc
Bore × stroke(mm) 73.0 × 80.0
Electric motor Electric motor type AC synchronous drive (Ultra-thin DC brushless motor)
Rated voltage 158 v
Performance Engine Max. output 70 kW (100 hp)/6,000 rpm
Max. torque 123 Nm (91 lb-ft)/4,500 rpm
Electric motor Max. output 15 kW (20 hp)/2,000 rpm
Max. torque 103 Nm (76 lb-ft)/0~1,160 rpm
System
Output
Max. output 70 kW+15 kW [100 hp+20 hp)
Max. torque 167 Nm (123 lb-ft)

More details will be available closer to launch.

Honda clearly intends for the new hybrid system to re-energize sales of its Civic hybrid, and to whittle away some of the marketshare currently owned by the top-selling Prius.

The Civic is Honda’s best-selling model after the Accord, with some 600,000 units sold per year.

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July 5, 2005 in Hybrids, Japan | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack (1)

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Comments

Now if they would just make it available with a TDI Diesel!

Lucas, make that a plug-in biodiesel-approved diesel :)

- John

You're right Lucas, if it had a diesel in the hybrid drivetrain it'd be even more fuel efficient.

Now they need to put this same motor in an Insight and call it an Insight S or something :P

Finally honda allows the electric motor to propel the vehicle alone. Its now a full hybrid.

(The torque numbers are bogus; peak torque is quoted as the sum of engine + motor, when the motor torque is well below its peak by the time the engine reaches its own.)

I wouldn't call this as "full" a hybrid as the Prius, because it's still spinning the engine (and incurring the friction losses) even when it's shut down.  But it's a big step forward!

Yeah, this isn't really a full hybrid, because it can't accelerate off the motor itself, but only uses it during low-speed cruising. But it's a big step forward, with all those small improvements even. I only with that a) they would integrate this into the Insight, and b) Honday and Toyota would cooperate, because I think this would really result in a "mega-hybrid" so to speak w/fuel economy of 60+ mpg.

Honda's various tweaks to the iVTEC, plus befing up the IMA could make this new HCH a real contender. Too bad they decided not to release the Civic Hatchback in the U.S. ... It would be a direct compete (I love, love, love my Prius hatchback for hauling cargo).

A new spicier Insight would be great, but based on sales of the current model doesn't appear to be in the cards unless research shows that lack of power is the limiting factor. Insight was the first and I think has always been something of a show car and mini urban runabout.

A Honda Civic Hybrid Coupe would be an obvious, and I think intelligent move in terms of retooling and product positioning. Their lack of a mini-SUV (CRV, Element) with IMA is totally confounding to me.

Honda's various tweaks to the iVTEC, plus befing up the IMA could make this new HCH a real contender. Too bad they decided not to release the Civic Hatchback in the U.S. ... It would be a direct compete (I love, love, love my Prius hatchback for hauling cargo).

A new spicier Insight would be great, but based on sales of the current model doesn't appear to be in the cards unless research shows that lack of power is the limiting factor. Insight was the first and I think has always been something of a show car and mini urban runabout.

A Honda Civic Hybrid Coupe would be an obvious, and I think intelligent move in terms of retooling and product positioning. Their lack of a mini-SUV (CRV, Element) with IMA is totally confounding to me.

lensovet: I'm glad that Honday (sic) and Toyota aren't cooperating right now -- I'd rather have two sets of scientists working somewhat independently, generating two sets of ideas. This way, more ideas get tested and the natural biases that occur in research teams don't necessarily infect each set equally.

In other words, we might progress further by keeping them apart for a while, to see what develops...

Great news, but still, I would have wished for a full hybrid. I guess that Honda could steal some sales away from the Prius if this new technology really is less expensive to make and they sell the hybrid version of the civic for less..

I'm also curious to know if Honda got the Civic Hybrid up to SULEV from ULEV. Many non-hybrid cars are ULEV, so it's a bit embarassing to have a hybrid that can't do better. Smog is a problem too, not just oil comsumption/greenhouse gas.

lensovet there is already a vehicle that gets 60+ mpg, the Insight.
and it uses IMA :)

As for IMA not being "a real hybrid" that is a silly claim. It uses both gasoline and electric power for it's propulsion, therefor it is a gasoline electric hybrid. However this is a clear improvment, but as for Toyota being the crown holder, email me when they can beat an Insight in the Tour Del Sol stock vs stock :)

so how will the Hybrids fare,when street flooding occurs,are they not operating at over 200v DC,I cannot imagine making the entire high voltage electrical system,including the Motors at the wheels, 100% waterproof.

Can anyone refer me to an article or other reference on "where the power goes" in a typical car. How many Hp are lost in the exhaust, the transmission, the cooling fan the alternator, the a/c, etc. etc.

Dick

I applaud Honda on these major improvements. Even if they match the performance and economy of the Prius, remember, the Prius is mid-size and the Civic is compact, and the Prius'hatchback is very handy.......

I'm predicting this new super-HCH will take the crown for mpg. I can get 55+mpg out of my 2005 HCH - so the new 2006 I'm sure will beat at the Insight in real street driving - especially for manual transmission.

Note on electrical shock hazard - the power cable is completely sealed bright orange cable under body pan to batteries in back - so no water shock hazard - and electric motor is located on side of petrol engine.

BTW - diesel is not better - because emissions are worse; also ULEV hybrid still does better than regular ULEV because it uses less petrol over all. And yes the new HCH 2006 is SULEV.

Cannot wait to test drive one!

I'm not a mechanical engineer, but I have two comments.
1- A bio-diesel engine would have been great.
2- Have some concerns, after reading the preceeding comments, on street flooding performance.
Thank you.

How much will it cost to replace the batteries in the 2006 hybrid civic when they die?
Does the new 2006 hybrid design use the same D size batteries that the insight uses? I can buy the insight D size batteries for less that $5 a piece so the 120 batteries would cost only $600 to replace. Not bad compared to the $3000 for the prius.

My 2003 HCH last tank was 62.2 MPG at the pump with careful driving. Gonna buy an 06 and reach 70 MPG...just you wait!!! Oh, this is a CVT by the way!

I'm considering buying the 2006 when it comes out - but I'm concerned about the hauling stuff issue. The back seat doesn't fold down at all? I also hear the antenna makes it difficult to tie things to the roof. This would be our only car, and we do make Home Depot runs. Is this a major issue? Right now I can haul most things I need in my 2 door tercel with the back seat folded down. Would the Civic have comparable room? I also hear bad things about the AC but it sounds like they are trying to fix this.

jessica,
unless they've changed this too, you can't fold the rear seats down in the present Civic Hybrid (batteries or controller or something just behind it). We were going to buy a Prius, but it wasn't quite big enough for hauling things for our business in. We got a 5-speed front-wheel-drive Matrix instead: though we'd much prefer a hybrid, it was significantly cheaper to buy, can carry a truly astounding amount of stuff, and we consistently get 31mpg (combined city and rural highways), though if I'm careful I get 36mpg. Extra bonus for HomeDepot runs is the hard plastic cargo area and backs of the rear seats, both with ingenious tie-down attachments; plus the front passenger seat can fold flat. Anyway, can you tell I'm happy with the thing? Of course, if Honda finally wakes up and brings a Civic Hybrid Wagon to this part of the world...

Dear Mr.
I need some elementry information abuot hybrid electrical vehicle.
please send me.

Best Regards,
V.Jalali
MSc student in Electrical Engineering
Sharif University of Technology


Seems to me that a very simple modification to convert a regular vehicle to a hybrid would be to take, for example, a FWD Honda CR-V and add the electric motors to the rear wheels - presto a four wheel drive hybrid and NO huge development costs!


I agree... and I am considering to do it myself to my Honda '97CRV. What do you think? Even if disengaged the rear wheels (removed drive train from the front)... how do you think it would perform? Any thoughts/suggestions where to start thinking and doing the math/engineering work on my own? I have a small personal hydro-electric generator, so electricity is almost free for me. I'm considering to add a motor to the rear wheels for city driving... and then engage the engine for the freeway... without any serious modifications to the gas-powered drive train or systems in the front.

Brian

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