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Honda two-motor Accord Hybrid goes on sale in US in October; 47 mpg combined

2014_Honda_Accord_Hybrid_02
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Click to enlarge.

Honda’s new 2-motor MY 2014 Accord Hybrid, built with the rest of the Accord lineup in a Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio, will go on sale in the US in October. The two-motor hybrid system, which is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, has already made its debut in the Accord Plug-in Hybrid, which went on sale in California and New York on 15 January 2013. (Earlier post.)

Honda anticipates the new Accord Hybrid will obtain an EPA fuel economy rating of 49/45/47 mpgUS (4.8, 5.2 and 5.0 l/100 km, respectively) (city/highway/combined). The two-motor SPORT HYBRID Intelligent Multi Mode Drive powertrain in the Accord Hybrid supports three different driving modes—EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive—to optimize fuel efficiency.

  • In EV Drive, the Accord Hybrid uses the lithium-ion battery to run in electric-only mode at lower speeds and in medium- to high-speed cruising.

  • Engine Drive sends the engine power directly to the front wheels.

  • In Hybrid Drive, the 124-kilowatt (kW) electric motor and the new 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine blend together for powerful acceleration while allowing for efficient driving in stop-and-go traffic situations.

Along with new features such as Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot display, which made its debut on the Accord last fall, other available driver assistance features on the 2014 Accord Hybrid include Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW).

The 2014 Accord Hybrid features the same next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure as the 2013 Accord, along with Honda’s new SmartVent front-side airbags.

Other models in the 2014 line-up. The 2014 Accord Sedan is available in eight model choices, including six gasoline-engine versions (LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L V6 and Touring), the Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, and the new Accord Hybrid Sedan. The 2014 Accord Coupe is available in four model choices (LX-S, EX, EX-L and EX-L V6).

The 2014 Honda Accord lineup will include a direct injected 4-cylinder engine and a powerful and fuel-efficient V-6. A sporty CVT (4-cylinder models only) and a 6-speed manual transmission are also available.

Chassis features include a MacPherson strut front suspension (with Amplitude Reactive Dampers on Hybrid models), a hybrid steel-and-aluminum front subframe (all-aluminum on Hybrid models) and electric power steering (EPS). Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC) on both 4-cylinder and V-6 models counteract noise.

Starting at $21,955, the 2014 Honda Accord Sedan goes on sale 22 August 2013, and the Coupe, with prices starting at $23,625, launches on 20 August. The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan, with prices starting at $39,780, debuted in early 2013. Pricing for the 2014 Accord Hybrid Sedan will be announced closer to its October on-sale date.

The Accord Sedan and Coupe offer Honda’s greatest range of active and passive safety and driver assistive features. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is standard on all Accord models, and available new technologies include Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

Comments

ai_vin

A "two-motor hybrid system" ??? Isn't having two motors a requirement of any hybrid system?

Engineer-Poet

Honda's original hybrid system was single-motor.  Toyota's HSD (copied by Ford) is 2-motor.

ai_vin

Ah yes, you've given me an Insight. ;)

sd

$39,780 for a 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan is about $5000 more than 2014 Chevrolet Volt which has about 3 times the range of the accord. You would have to really want to buy a Honda to pay that much of a difference.

GreenPlease

@Engineer-Poet: "licensed by Ford" iirc

usbseawolf2000

Hopefully the rating was tested on the 5 cycles test rather than derived from 2 cycles, like Fusion hybrid.

Alex_C

Does anyone know a link to a site that describes the new Honda Accord hybrid system (with 2 e-motors) in more detail?
(Reportedly they use the same architecture for the new PHEV and HEV Accord models).

At several places it's said to be some sort of e-CVT, a clutch is mentioned too, but no details.
Unless somebody disassembles one. Who'll be the first? Perhaps ORNL lab.

The statement above:
"The two-motor hybrid system, which is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, ..." is almost certainly wrong, or all other sources are wrong.

usbseawolf2000

Alex, see the video at 4:35.

http://youtu.be/sDYwaZZkmA8

It is a very simple system without transmission like HSD.

Alex_C

Thanks usbseawolf.

Basically it's a series hybrid with the ability to connect ICE output directly to the driven wheels, but with fixed gear ratio.
Should be very efficient on flat roads. Once in direct engine drive, for acceleration, it can also use e-motor, and probably the generator.
Not good for long (slow) mountain climbing, as then it'll work as series hybrid, only the e-motor would be providing power to wheels. That's the likely reason for the use of powerful (and expensive) e-motor (124 kW).

DavidJ

Alex: It's a series hybrid when the clutch is disengaged and the ICE is on, but in normal operation it is a parallel hybrid. A HEV may have weak motor(s), but a BEV or PHEV needs a strong motor(s) to provide the oomph when there is no ICE contributing.

Alex_C

@DavidJ,

Agree, but not completely.
This system can work as parallel hybrid only at higher vehicle speeds. Not good for mountains, but for most of the US it's acceptable.

"BEV or PHEV needs a strong motor(s)...".
BEV do need strong motors. PHEVs are quite OK if, in battery mode, they can only provide speeds up to 100 (or 120) kph, especially if battery is relatively small (Accord has one of the smallest batteries of all PHEVs)
If in BEV mode it could use both motor and generator to drive wheels, it would be a big plus, but it's not the case here, not easy to implement.

J.C.

I'm surprised how many uneducated people are out there comparing the Accord Plug-in with the Volt. The Plug-in comes fully loaded (LED headlights, navigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, side-view camera, etc.). The Volt costs less but comes stripped-down. Add options and watch the Volt price skyrocket. And you can't even get all those features in a Volt anyway. Plus, the Volt seats only four passengers (who are cramped) and outside it's a styling nightmare. Oh, and look at the fuel economy numbers for the Volt—37 MPG on gas. Not only that, but the Volt is a lot slower. So, I ask, why buy a Volt???

Roger Pham

I believe that HEV and PHEV should not share the same engine and drive train. The PHEV should have 1/2 the engine of the HEV version, having 2 cylinders instead of 4 cylinders. This will allow savings in cost, weight, and internal space. The shorter engine in the front will yield room for another battery pack, in order increase trunk space in the rear.

Additionally, in the PHEV version, both the generator and the motor can be downsized. The reason for this is that with a smaller engine, there is no need for a large generator. Then, one may ask, why also down size the motor? Answer: the motor can be downsized if in the electric-only mode, the generator can also provide power. In order to do that, another clutch is needed between the engine and the generator. Thus, the engine is declutched, and the generator now can contribute power to the drive train. Thus, instead of having a 124 kW motor, and then another 100kW generator in the HEV vehicle, the PHEV version will only need a 60 kW generator/motor and a 84 kW motor. The advantages of engine and motor/generator downsizing are obviously weight, cost, and space saving in order to make up for the larger battery of the PHEV.

Thus, a dedicated PHEV design from a clean-sheet approach needs not cost more, nor weight more, nor having less trunk space than a HEV, yet will offer higher saving in fuel cost and more energy independence. This will open for much higher penetration of PHEV than is the case right now.

Engineer-Poet

Designing an entirely new engine family from the ground up is expensive.  The volume of PHEVs will have to get much larger to make it a viable proposition.

Roger Pham

@E-P,
Good Point. This is like the chicken or the egg dilemma. With lower-cost PHEV and better marketing, higher volume will ensue. However, without the investments required to lower the costs and enhancing the desirability of PHEV's and for better marketing, the volume will remain low and the cost will remain high.

The real issue behind this is that OEM's have little incentive to push for PHEV. The immediate profit margin is not necessarily higher than for conventional cars, yet, due to the greatly enhanced reliability of PHEV's and hence reduced service business later on, dealers may object to selling too many PHEV's, while being content with just a low-volume PHEV sales as green washing. The Chevy Volt is a case in point, that offers too large a battery pack that results in too high a cost and reduced passengger capacity, in order to guarantee minuscule sales. Saving on oil consumption is the last of GM's objectives. It will take much higher oil prices before the consumers will demand higher volume of PHEV's and the OEM's will have to comply.

However, it remains encouraging to see more and more OEM's offering PHEV's, albeit for purposes other than aiming at high-volume production.

HarveyD

As batteries improve, PHEVs will progressively use more and more e-energy and less energy from the on board ICE.

Future 3-3-3 batteries will easily drive a PHEV for 100+ Km and a very small 20 KW to 30 KW on board genset would be enough for a mid-size next generation PHEV.

With future (2020 or so) 5-5-5 batteries, the on-board genset would become redundant and the era of pure EVs would be here.

Roger Pham

@HarveyD,
Until battery can attain energy density comparable to liquid hydrocarbon, and battery will never be able to, a PHEV will remain a better option. I prefer as small a battery pack as possible in order to maximize internal space, reduce cost, and reduce weight.

As battery will get more energy density, and power density, the pack can get smaller, and PHEV will be more competitive with conventional ICEV, and that will be very good. However, a PHEV will always be more versatile and practical than a BEV. Imagine in a prolonged power outage situation, which vehicle will be usable and which will not? A PHEV will run just fine in a prolonged power outage, for example, after a major disaster, while a BEV will be stranded. In a prolonged camping trip, a PHEV with additional fuel supply can provide extensive electricity supply for lighting, music, and other usages, while a BEV won't do that.

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