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Honda to offer three hybrid systems; new fuel cell vehicles for US, Japan, Europe in 2015

Honda Motor Co. CEO, Takanobu Ito, outlined the product, technology and business developments and direction planned to drive Honda’s growth by fiscal year 2017; among these are a plan to introduce three hybrid systems, Ito said. Each system will possess unique characteristics and their deployment will reflect varying customer needs.

First, Honda will further develop its lightweight and compact one-motor hybrid system (IMA) with the aim of achieving leading fuel economy among all hybrid vehicles. Improvements in motor output and battery performance, coupled with a newly developed transmission will help to extend the zero emission electric driving range.

Honda is also developing a new more powerful two-motor hybrid system for mid-size vehicles. The 2014 Accord plug-in currently features Honda’s first two-motor hybrid system, and uses a new Earth Dreams i-VTEC 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine producing 137 hp (102 kW) at 6200 rpm, teamed with a 124 kW electric motor. Electric driving is supported by a 6.7 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery pack, and total system output is 196 hp (146 kW). The total system output surpasses that of the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (134 hp), Chevrolet Volt (149 hp) and projected output of the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. (Earlier post.)

Finally, a highly efficient and high output 3-motor hybrid system, the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) will focus on driving performance. This technology will be applied to the new NSX, Acura RLX Sport Hybrid model and the successor model of Legend which will be introduced in Japan in 2014. (Earlier post.)

Ito said that Honda will continue its efforts to develop full batter-electric EV models with which Honda will strive to realize further market penetration of EVs. Ito also said that in 2015, Honda will launch an all-new fuel cell electric model which will showcase the significant technological advancements and cost reductions that Honda has accomplished since the launch of the FCX Clarity. This model will be introduced to Japan, USA and Europe.

Ito said that Honda will further advance its “Earth Dreams Technology” through the improvement of internal combustion components including the engine, along with the transmission, and also through advancement of electromotive technologies applied to motors and other components.

For gasoline-powered vehicles, Honda will continue developing internal combustion engines which will increase fuel economy to what Ito called “the ultimate level”. Honda will adopt the newly-developed engine series first to the all-new 2013 Accord, and will continue to adopt it sequentially to other models.



Good news for future near term hybrid diversification. End users will soon have more choices at lower price?


'As for fuel cell electric vehicles, which Honda considers to be the ultimate environmentally-responsible vehicle, and therefore has been leading the industry in R&D and sales, Honda will launch an all-new fuel cell electric model sequentially in Japan, the U.S. and Europe starting in 2015. This new fuel cell vehicle will showcase further technological advancement and significant cost reduction that Honda has accomplished.'


What's the point of buying an advance hybrid or an ev if you can buy a fuelcell car in 2015 ? You know what will happen in 2015, it will happen that this compagny will say that they cannot release fuelcell vehicle because there is no hydrogen fueling stations. All that is planned madness. I said many time to begin hydrogen commercialisation now. Again honda and other car manufacturers are relying on dubious third parties for an energy infrastructure that nobody is interrested to build. They propose fuelcell dreams but take no responsability for it. It's been since 1998 that honda make brainwash with hydrogen and no results whatsoever since then. Did you ever witness a glimpse of responsability from honda about an hydrogen infrastructure, no. They never said a word about it and they never constructed a single hydrogen station on their own to show the basic technology behing it. They never proposed any technical solutions for making hydrogen. They actually know that they won't release hydrogen fuelcell car and now they are trying to cash on costly inneficient gasoline hybrid and some limp batteries.

I said many time to include an hydrogen maker into the hydrogen fuelcell car so no need for a costly bothersome external hydrogen stations network constructed by the usual big oil capital ( oil compagnies, wall streets dealers, world goverments, ice manufacturers, banks, journalists, hollywood artists, medicare, scientists, state employees, nascar, formula one, indy racing league, etc ).


They already have enough h2 fueling stations to start the rollout in japan.


Japan is a relatively small country.  Israel has enough battery-swap stations to allow a rollout of Better Place's vehicles, too.

The problem with trying to do this in the USA is the sheer size of the country and the lack of options for shipping hydrogen.  Producing it on the spot isn't cheap; batteries are far more efficient, wall-to-wheels.  The simplest way to transport hydrogen is in chemical bonds with carbon... and you're effectively back to the PHEV.

Roger Pham

H2 or NG fueling stations in the USA? It can be done simply by mandating that each gas station that has 10 pumps or more to provide either a H2 pump or a NG pump. In rural areas on main highways, the pump number can be reduced to 6 to provide adequate number of stations for traveling motorists.

The Gov. can provide for interest-free loan to build these pumps to be paid back gradually from sales of either H2 or NG. So, this will be a no-risk mandate for the gas station owners, and no cost to taxpayers who will recoup the money. The gov.'s money can be diverted from defense budget, since petroleum independency is a vital national defense issue.

The H2 can be made right at the stations from electrolysis of water and compressed in one step in a modern electrolyzer, or from reformation of NG right in one location.

NG pumps and pipelines can be made to be H2-compatible to reduce infrastructure cost upon a complete switch to a H2 economy.

Nick Lyons

@Roger Pham: You write: NG pumps and pipelines can be made to be H2-compatible to reduce infrastructure cost upon a complete switch to a H2 economy.

I suppose that's true, but at what cost? I'm guessing you're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars to replace the existing NG infrastructure.

For now, lacking the super batteries we all hope to see some day, liquid hydrocarbons are so much more sensible, IMHO. Eventually, they can be synthesized using cheap electricity and heat from ultra-safe molten salt reactors running on uranium or thorium. Using H2 as a transportation fuel is silly. Just MHO.


The h2 pipeline network is growing rapidly in the us and isnt needed till there are a fair number of fuel cell cars and trucks around..

Roger Pham

Should be NEW NG pumps and pipelines to be made H2-compatible. Eventually, most of existing NG piping will need replacement in due time. I'm not advocating ripping out good existing NG piping. H2 is important for more than just transportation fuel. It is also good for local CHP-FC use in colder climates whereby waste heat can be used for winter heating.


@ Engineer-Poet

Don't like FCV move to the Apartheit State of Israel and swap out batteries. It's a short ride between check points.


I'll stick with PHEV for a while.  I don't expect FCVs to get anywhere (building a whole new fuel infrastructure just isn't going to happen in a country sunken in debt), but electrification works piecemeal.


FCV could be a solution for heavy long haul vehicles such as trucks, buses, locomotives etc, selected heavy and light machinery, certain tugs-ships etc. Batteries may not be the ideal solution for those vehicles.

Some 100-150 large hydrogen facilities located at major highway intersections could meet most of the requirements in USA. Many investors would be interested when the fleet is potentially large enough.

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