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Honda to extend application of i-MMD two-motor hybrid system across lineup

In a briefing in Tokyo last week, Honda Motor outlined its direction of technology development toward its 2030 Vision. A key element therein is the development of zero-carbon technologies.

Honda said that because powertrain requirements differ from region to region and are becoming further diversified depending on infrastructure, regulations and customer needs in each region, it will deliver the most appropriate products to customers based on the idea of placing the right products, in the right places at the right time.

As part of this, Honda will expand the application of its i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) two-motor hybrid system (earlier post) from large to mid-sized vehicles to small-sized vehicles, as well as to PHEVs and to evolve it as the core of Honda electrification technologies.


Layout of motor and generator. Ito et al.

The i-MMD was originally introduced in 2013; the third-generation version is applied in the 2019 CR-V Hybrid, the 2019 Insight and the 2018 Accord Hybrid and comprises two electric motors, a power control unit, an Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine, lithium-ion battery and an innovative fixed gear transmission. The Honda-developed electric motors use magnets containing no heavy rare-earth metals.

Size of the engine, motor and battery pack vary, based on the different size and power demands of the vehicles.

For example, the CR-V Hybrid is equipped with a 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle engine, with peak power of 107 kW (145 PS) at 6,200 rpm, and a 135 kW (184 PS) electric motor with torque of 315 N·m. The 2019 Insight features a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine with 107 peak hp at 6,000 rpm; the traction motor delivers 129 hp and 267 N·m.

By applying the high-voltage system technologies to PHEVs, BEVs and FCVs, Honda will upgrade the performance of these electrified vehicles as well.

Honda will introduce its BEV Architecture which will enable the sharing of the basic framework for its vehicles. While increasing the efficiency of development and parts-sharing, the BEV Architecture will enable flexible product development, including body design, adoption of battery types to accommodate the desired EV range and whether to employ an all-wheel drive system.


  • Ito, Y., Aoki, T., Naito, T., and Hiranishi, T. (2019) “Development of Motor with Heavy Rare Earth-Free Magnet for Two-Motor Hybrid System,” SAE Technical Paper 2019-01-0600, doi: 10.4271/2019-01-0600.


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