Honda discontinuing Civic Hybrid, Civic natural gas model, Accord plug-in hybrid; new BEV, PHEV models coming
Due in part to Honda’s ability to advance fuel economy through conventional engine technology, the Civic lineup will no longer include a hybrid or a natural gas model, according to John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Both of these products with the end of the 2015 model year. Mendel also said said that Honda will not offer a plug-in version of Accord going forward as the company looks toward the scheduled launch of a new dedicated plug-in model. Honda currently is selling the MY 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid.
Honda will launch the all-new 10th-generation Civic this fall. With two new engines on the new Civic, including its first turbo engine, Honda is targeting class-leading fuel economy for Civic, with EPA highway fuel economy “a few ticks” above 40 miles per gallon, Mendel said.
For the first five months of 2015, Honda’s total hybrid sales (including Acura models) were down 22.3% from the same period in 2014, to 9,257 units total. Sales of the Civic Hybrid were down 10.2% to 1,873 units for the five months; sales of the Accord Plug-in Hybrid were down 63.8% to 55 units over that time frame.
Honda has promoted CNG-powered vehicles for many years. For most of the past 15 years we have been the only automaker with a dedicated CNG vehicle. Despite this commitment, the infrastructure for natural gas refueling and consumer demand remains a challenge. Production of the Civic Natural Gas model has been completed at our Indiana plant, but we will continue to provide a high level of service to our existing customers through CNG-certified Honda dealers.
The Civic Hybrid has played a very important role in helping promote customers’ appreciation for hybrid technology and is presently the only hybrid variant of a mainstream compact sedan. For the future we will place our focus more on our two-motor hybrid system, where we feel we can meet the needs and expectations of customers for hybrids and achieve greater reduction of CO2 emissions.—John Mendel
Mendel said that Honda will expand application of its two- and three-motor hybrid systems in the coming years. The new Accord Hybrid set to debut in early 2016 will raise the bar with the next-generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system for even greater fuel economy and performance. Further, enhancements to production methods for the two-motor system will help lead to a strong increase in Accord Hybrid sales, Mendel suggested.
We are also working to advance electrified vehicles to meet the diverse needs and wants of environmentally conscious customers. We are developing an entirely new generation of vehicles starting from the introduction in 2016 of our next-generation fuel cell vehicle. This will be followed by an all-new battery electric model and the all-new plug-in hybrid model.—John Mendel