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Honda President: Hybrid Freed Minivan Around 2011, EV By 2015

Honda Motor will introduce a hybrid version of its Freed minivan around 2011, President Takanobu Ito told The Nikkei in an interview. He also corroborated an earlier report that Honda will introduce a battery electric vehicle by 2015. (Earlier post.)

The company intends to add a variety of hybrid models in the near future, including the CR-Z, a sporty hybrid, in February and a hybrid version of its Fit subcompact by the end of 2010. For the hybrid minivan expected as early as 2011, the company plans to launch a hybrid version of its mainstay Freed.

The Freed. Click to enlarge.

The Freed is built on the same compact platform as the Fit.

“Fuel efficiency has been what matters most in hybrid vehicles, but what is required from now on is a balance among economy, fuel efficiency and price,” Ito said, expressing a desire to offer a wide variety of hybrids to customers. In developing electric cars, Honda must first meet California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulation, which is considered the toughest in the world, Ito said.


Will S

I wonder what fuel economy a hybrid Freed minivan based on the Fit would achieve and how many it would seat? Such a small minivan is a welcome relief from the oversized minivans we have now, though utility/mpg is the best yardstick.

Will S

Waiting until 2015 to produce an EV will put Honda at the back of the EV pack. Why have they chosen to wait so long?


They are waiting until 2015 to eliminate the waste inherent in producing a vehicle before it’s time.

Then they will then pick the best technology (most affordable battery) available and join the parade with minimal development overhead.

Will S

Why would 2015 be 'before its time'?

On top of the other references I've presented, please note the following from the US Joint Forces Command;

"By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD… The implications for future conflict are ominous..."
Joint Forces Command 2008

We need to transition as many vehicles as possible off of petroleum, or at least to those that are highly fuel efficient. You always seem to discount calls for reduced fuel consumption, even when doing so would reduce our energy dependence on foreign oil.


It is a common mistake on this site to confuse
what buyers “should” buy
what the auto makers should produce.

If we should buy more EVs but are not, it is bad business to produce more of them.

EVs will be available from many sources well before 2015 and we should buy them - all of us.

But if, as Honda thinks, EVs sales may take off in 2015, NOT before, why should they make them before? Even if it helped OA EV sales (which it may or may not) – that is not their companies task.

If you think you know more about when to start trying producing a future seller than Honda, you should probably ask yourself why.


The Honda CR-Z's are here finally! Check out the one i just took pictures of at ...

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