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.