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Honda unveils Fit EV concept and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle platform at Los Angeles Auto Show

17 November 2010

Fitev
The Fit EV concept. Click to enlarge.

Honda Motor Co. President and CEO Takanobu Ito unveiled the Fit EV Concept electric vehicle and the platform for a mid-size plug-in hybrid electric vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Ito said both vehicles are integral to what Honda is calling its Electric Mobility Network, an approach to reducing CO2 emissions through a range of products, energy-management and energy-production technologies.

The Fit EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda’s upcoming production Fit EV battery-electric vehicle, which will be introduced to the US and Japan in 2012. The all-new plug-in hybrid platform showcases Honda’s next-generation, two-motor hybrid technology set to debut in 2012.

No one vehicle can meet every customer need or solve every societal challenge. ...We believe fuel cell electric vehicle such as the Honda FCX Clarity is the ultimate...full function electric vehicle. At the same time, for the purpose of urban commuting, our approach includes the development of a battery electric vehicle.

—Takanobu Ito

Honda Fit EV. The Fit EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter and utilizes the same 5-passenger layout found in the popular Fit hatchback. When the Fit EV production model is introduced, it will be powered by a lithium-ion battery and coaxial electric motor.

The high-density motor is derived from the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle; the Fit EV will have a top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h).

The Fit EV will achieve an estimated 100-mile (161 km) driving range per charge using the US LA4 city cycle (70 miles (113 km) when applying EPA’s adjustment factor). Driving range can be maximized by use of a 3-mode electric drive system, adapted from the 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid. The system allows the driver to select between Econ, Normal, and Sport to instantly and seamlessly change the driving experience to maximize efficiency or improve acceleration. While in Econ mode, practical driving range can increase by as much as 17%, compared to driving in Normal mode, and up to 25% compared to driving in Sport mode. Acceleration improves significantly when in Sport mode, generating performance similar to a vehicle equipped with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

In addition to the 3-mode E-Drive system, the Fit EV will include several interactive coaching systems to assist the driver in maximizing battery range.

A special meter display advises the driver when to shut off air conditioning and other accessories to conserve battery power.

To help the driver manage the electric vehicle ownership experience, the Fit EV will have a standard connectivity system that allows the driver to stay connected through a smartphone and personal computer, or the Honda-exclusive interactive remote, while away from the vehicle. The interactive remote provides connectivity to the vehicle without the need for an internet connection or mobile phone signal. Through the connectivity system, drivers will be able to remotely view the vehicle’s state of charge, initiate charging and activate the air conditioning, even while connected to the grid, to reduce the drain on the battery at start-up. The mobile application and website also offers the ability to set charging notifications and alerts to optimize utility rates, and provides 24-hour roadside assistance, along with a public charging station locator. The Fit EV will come equipped with a standard Honda Satellite Linked Navigation System that includes a public charging-station locator capability.

Battery recharging can be accomplished in less than 12 hours when using a conventional 120-volt outlet, and less than six hours when using a 240-volt outlet.

Hondaphev
The plug-in hybrid system. Click to enlarge.

Honda Plug-in Hybrid. Honda’ plug-in hybrid platform showcases Honda’s next-generation two-motor hybrid system. Integrated into a mid-size sedan platform, the plug-in hybrid is designed to be compatible with daily driving habits, allowing for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode, while providing long-distance driving capability when needed. The Honda two-motor system continuously moves through three different modes to maximize driving efficiency: all-electric, gasoline-electric and an engine direct-drive mode. The plug-in hybrid also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery.

In all-electric mode, the vehicle uses a 6 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 120 kW electric motor. The all-electric mode achieves a range of approximately 10-15 miles in city driving and a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h). Fully recharging the battery will take 2 to 2.5 hours using a 120-volt outlet and 1 to 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet.

The platform features a fuel-efficient 100 kW, 2.0-liter, i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT). An onboard generator adds to the battery powering the electric motor.

For more efficient high-speed cruising, the vehicle can engage in a direct-drive mode, in which only the engine drives the front wheels.

Advanced Technology Demonstration Program. Honda will launch an Advanced Technology Demonstration Program this year to provide real-world testing of its new vehicles, as well as research into customer behavior and usability, public charging infrastructure planning and sustainability initiatives. Partners in the program will include Stanford University, City of Torrance, Calif. and Google, Inc.

Honda Electric Mobility Network and Energy Management. The Honda Electric Mobility Network joins clean vehicle technology, renewable energy production and energy management solutions. In addition to the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, the Fit EV and the future plug-in hybrid vehicle, Honda is currently producing and marketing thin-film solar panels in Japan, and an installation is planned at Honda Performance Development in Southern California in early 2011. Honda is also producing and distributing energy through sustainable methods, such as using solar power to produce hydrogen fuel from water. Additionally, Honda is developing home energy-management systems that utilize micro-cogeneration technology and solar cell modules to power and heat homes as well as charge electric vehicles.

November 17, 2010 in Electric (Battery), Hybrids, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Auto makers have to be careful with concept cars that look like they might produced soon. Customers may wait for this model and not buy their Insight 2 or Honda Civic hybrids. If a concept has a small chance of coming to market, then the impact is less.

Add the grill from the GM Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept car; problem solved.

Yeah, that will scare 'em off :)

With these announcements from Honda it shows that they are now for the first time serious about BEVs. During 2010 they got a new CEO that has reversed Honda’s BEV policy 180 degrees. IMO Honda is back on track to be among the leaders of the approaching green car revolution. If they can manage to get a BEV Honda Fit for sale in 2012 and priced and equipped to compete with the LEAF it will be very impressive. Frankly I think they will need more time.

It looks like quite a line up, Leaf, Focus, Cruze and Fit will all offer BEVs. The results of the market response will be known. I think they will sell all that they can build but won't build all that many.

The new Honda Plug-in hybrid reminds me very much of Prius HSD system, although here only vaguely described.
It's interesting that the patent proposing hybrid system similar to Prius', for which alleged infringement Toyota was sued and had to pay compensation, expires in Sept 2012 (filled Sept 1992).
It's US patent 5343970 by Alexei Severinsky.
Toyota was ordered to pay $26 for each hybrid car sold in US. Earlier this year they settled out of court.
Anyway, Honda won't sell too many cars with such system (if my assumption is correct), before the patent expires, so they won't have to pay a high compensation.
Once that patent expires, I expect more car makers will start using similar hybrid system in their HEV and PHEV cars (similar to Prius' HSD).

As for patent infringements, it seems that the rule is the later you get sued the better for you.
That may explain GM's earlier misleading/false announcements about Volt's "series hybrid" while it was series-parallel type, likely to infringe on the same patent as Toyota.

MG,

The GM system has full series capability, referred to as Mode 3; it's just that it also has a powersplit mode (mode 4) also, which is way more efficient at higher speeds and light loads. They had to keep some details private until production.

The Severinsky patent is really not relevant to the Volt, since it is for boosted-voltage, low-current systems and also for systems that do not have clutch devices, it seems.

I think GM is working off of an internal patent that was featured in GCC article, http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/10/chevy-volt-delivers-novel-two-motor-four-mode-extended-range-electric-drive-system-seamless-driver-e.html

Hey folks, had to sign up and respond. I have followed this for years now, and haven't seen anyone mention this: Build an efficient EV w/trailer hitch or equivalent easy attach for a portable generator to extend the vehicle range. If you only take trips less than 1% of the time, why haul the ICE weight around for the other 99% of the time. The genset only has to support just more than the (20%) hp required for high speed cruise - especially if you allow for fuel and food stops etc. That genset is standard fair already, and can be used at home for emergency support.

AC Propulsion has a trailer for the Tzero, but the concept did not catch on. Most people do not like trailers, but put up with them if they have to. It seems practical but public acceptance has a barrier to this idea.

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