Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has introduced the new Accord Hybrid in Japan. Featuring the new Sport Hybrid i-MMD (intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) powertrain, the Accord Hybrid offers fuel economy of 30.0 km/L (70.6 mpg US, 3.33 L/100 km) on the JC08 cycle. The company also introduced the Accord Plug-in Hybrid, with fuel economy (gasoline plus electricity) of 70.4 km/L equivalent (165.6 mpg US, 1.42 L/100 km) on the JC08. The plug-in will be available for lease, primarily to corporations and government agencies. (Earlier post.)
The Accord plug-in came in limited availability to the US earlier this year. Honda will introduce the conventional hybrid version of the Accord in the US nationwide in October. Honda estimates that the Accord Hybrid will earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 47 mpg US (20 km/L, 5.0 L/100 km) on the combined cycle. The plug-in hybrid in the US has a fuel economy rating of 115 mpg US (48.9 km/L, 2.05 L/100 km) equivalent.
The monthly combined sales target for Accord Hybrid and Accord Plug-in Hybrid in Japan is 1,000 units. Through May of this year, Honda has reported sales of 158 units of the plug-in hybrid Accord in the US.
The new hybrid features Sport Hybrid i-MMD (intelligent Multi-Mode Drive). Sport Hybrid i-MMD uses three different engine modes to power the Accord Hybrid. For off-the-line starts and low- to mid-speed cruising, EV Drive uses the battery to provide power and the drive motor to propel the vehicle. For acceleration, Hybrid Drive uses the gasoline engine to generate electricity and the drive motor to propel the vehicle. Finally, for high-speed cruising, Engine Drive uses the gasoline engine to provide power directly.
By switching automatically among these three modes, Sport Hybrid i-MMD is able to deliver fuel economy competitive with high-fuel economy mini-vehicles. In addition, the drive motor is able to produce maximum torque in off-the-line starts and Sport Hybrid i-MMD offers powerful acceleration performance.
The Sport Hybrid i-MMD system comprises a newly developed exclusive gasoline engine (earlier post); an electric CVT enclosing two motors (drive and generation) and a clutch directly linked to the gasoline engine; and a lithium-ion battery that efficiently stores regenerated electricity. The system automatically selects among its three drive modes to maximize efficiency at all times.
For high-speed cruising on the highway, the clutch in the transmission directly links the output axis of the gasoline engine with the drive axis of the vehicle. This mechanism makes possible high-speed cruising at the optimal gear ratio and highly efficient operation of the Atkinson cycle engine.
The electric servo braking system is a next-generation regenerative braking system originally developed for the Fit EV. Honda has further refined this system and now applied it in a production vehicle. Honda says the new system is able to convert a much higher amount of kinetic energy into electricity during deceleration. In addition, it supports the function of Hill Start Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and the newly enhanced Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS).
Also leveraging the power of Sport Hybrid i-MMD and its high-output, high-torque drive motor, the Accord Plug-in Hybrid features a newly developed plug-in hybrid system with a high-capacity lithium-ion battery. At full charge, this battery allows the vehicle to travel up to 37.6 km (23.3 miles) in EV mode (in Japan). Maximum EV mode driving range in the US is rated at 13 miles (21 km).