Honda Shooting for 500k Hybrids Yearly
May 21st, 2008 1:48 PM Share
Honda has long played second fiddle to Toyota in the hybrid powertrain department, especially from a public relations standpoint, but also in terms of technology, sales volume, and fuel economy. At least they've redoubled their efforts: Automotive News [sub] reports a push to increase sales tenfold to 500k per year with four different models: the current Civic Hybrid, an upcoming dedicated sub-$20k model, a sporty hybrid previewed last fall as the CR-Z, and now an upcoming Fit hybrid in a few years' time. Although that's only half the annual sales that Toyota is projecting early in the next decade, all will be affordable and fuel efficient, unlike the short-lived V6 Accord Hybrid.
Published May 21st, 2008 1:48 PM
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An automatic transmission is the most complex mechanical system next to the engine. Replacing it with simple and durable planetary gears, and one more electric motor is reducing the complexity compared to auto transmission. It is just newer, not more complex. Being able to drive in electric only mode is also a very big deal. It greatly improves stop and go efficiency. The Toyota system really has the advantage in an auto transmission setup (replacement). Though I like Honda for the manual capability, which I hope they offer on the GSH and CR-Z. When considering the complexity, consider what is removed as well as what is added.
Good point Bytor, I stand corrected on the complexity comparison. I'm still concerned about the pedestrian safety issue. Maybe electric cars need to make a synthesized put-put sound like the "shutter" sound option on digital cameras.
I really hope common sense prevails over the ludicrous notion that electric drive vehicles need noise makers added to protect idiots from themselves. I walk to work every day through a lot of multi speed traffic. I see/hear gassers/diesels/hybrids/electrics/bicycles. Cars approaching you make mostly tire/wind noise, it is only as they move away from you that engine noise plays a significant part in hearing them.
bytor: My biggest concern is cars backing out of parking places. Many drivers hop in the car, fire up the cell phone and go into reverse. With an ICE powered car the pedestrian gets a chance to hear that someone has started their vehicle. With all the monster trucks in parking lots now it is quite easy for a Prius size car to be invisible until you are almost already behind it. Some groups like the IIHS must be starting to collect statistics about this.