By on June 17, 2015

Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sales Chart

You thought you saw one once, didn’t you? A hint of blue trim was visible in the distance; some unique badging, as well.

But then when you Googled the images at home later, you realized that no, the front fascia was too normal. You saw the ninth-generation Honda Accord’s hybrid model, not the plug-in hybrid.

Indeed, spotting a Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid is now statistically not all that different from catching a glimpse of a Porsche 918 Spyder. You roar ahead, trying to get a closer look, but it’s already pulled into Jerry Seinfeld’s exclusive parking garage. Or in the case of the Plug-In Hybrid, a Honda executive’s enclosed charging station.

As if Honda dealers haven’t had a hard enough time stocking Accord Hybrids, the Accord Plug-In Hybrid was so rarely built that only 1,030 have been sold in the United States since the car arrived in January 2013. That’s an average of 36 sales per month. No wonder Honda is, wait for it, pulling the plug

Yes, the current version of the Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid is done for. Only fifteen have left showrooms over the course of the last three months. We’re now some 20 months removed from the Plug-In’s best ever month of 71 sales. After reporting 526 Plug-In sales in 2013, volume slid 15% to 449 units last year. Year-to-date, the Accord PHEV is down 64% to just 55 units.

accord pi hybrid

Meanwhile, May 2015 turned out to be the non-Plug-In Accord Hybrid’s best month in a year with 1,463 sales, equal to 4.5% of the overall Accord lineup’s volume last month. In 2014, for every Accord PHEV sold, American Honda sold 31 copies of the Accord Hybrid. Over the course of its 29 months, the Plug-In accounted for just 0.12% of all U.S. Accord sales.

Total Accord sales are down 16% so far this year, which makes it America’s fifth-best-selling car, down from third at this stage of 2014.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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25 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: The Discontinued Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid Was All Kinds Of Rare...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Even the ELR sells better.

  • avatar

    #1 I’ve got no love for anything Honda
    #2 If I’d designed the Plug-in Hybrid, I would have based it on the Crosstour instead of the Accord sedan. Then you’d have had a more spacious vehicle. Change the styling to make it slightly better looking.
    #3 Give it an EV-range of at least 100 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      It’s impractical to put that large of a battery pack in a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. Proper design for a PHEV is to put in enough battery for daily intown use, and no more.

      • 0 avatar

        FORMER

        I disagree.

        I drove the Fisker Karma, the P85 and P85D.

        If the speed of the P-models wasn’t a factor, I’d take a Fisker over the Model S specifically because of the gas regen.

        The problem I’m seeing is that they keep building these cars TOO SMALL. The Model S changed that by being able to fit 5+ people. Problem is, it lacks regenerative capabilities.

        Until these idiots stop screwing around and start building 4-door sedans with gas regen and at-least-100-mile-EV-modes, these stupid cars will continue to sell slowly.

        A Chevy Impala, Genesis, 300, Charger or any other big car with a PHEV EV ability would be awesome as long as the price was kept reasonable (less than $50,000)

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          For the mass market, it is impractical, impractically expensive. For a car that size to go 100 miles, you’d probably need a 48 kwh battery, and that would push the price well beyond the target you mentioned. Maybe someday, but not now.

          Batteries are still heavy and expensive, you don’t want to carry around more than you need to.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    That’s why car companies drive me nuts. They’ll scream “volume! Volume!” all day if you ask for a V6 6MT sedan. I bet they would have sold far more of those than they did of these things, but Honda still dumped r&d money into it, just to watch it flop.

    No different than Nissan discontinuing the Altima coupe but greenlighting a Murano convertible. Yeah, it’s all about sales volume, hypocrites.

    • 0 avatar
      thalter

      This is a little different than a V6 MT sedan. Given that planning of vehicles starts years in advance, I’m sure this was built Asa hedge against a potential California EV mandate.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Honda and basically every other manufacturer knows the long term future of the automobile is not in V6 6MT family sedans. Today, hybrids sell so Honda tried a PHEV. For whatever reasons, it didn’t sell well. That just gives Honda room to improve for the 2nd version. Very few cars get it right the first time.

      By the way, Honda did sell a V6 6MT Accord sedan a few years ago. I don’t think it sold very well.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      This is more of an R&D exercise. There’s nothing Honda can glean from a V6 6MT sedan, they’ve been making those for the last 30 years.

    • 0 avatar

      A manual sedan gives you no offsets for California’s dumb laws.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I have to think it was a conscious decision on Honda’s part to only sell a handful of these. Chevy sells a decent number of PHEVs, so does Ford, and even the halfhearted effort that is the Plug in Prius manages to sell hundreds every month.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Everyone talks like hybrids are such a big deal, but if you look at it, only Toyota and Ford have fully embraced hybrids and Toyota far outdoes Ford in that regard. Most automakers have 1-2 hybrids tops, if any. So Honda’s struggles are not uncommon in the industry.

  • avatar
    bubbajet

    These were insanely expensive for what they are. I looked when I was shopping for my current Accord (4-cyl 6-spd MT; smoking deal at sub-$20k out the door and boatloads of fun), but they were so expensive I really don’t remember the price other than “holy cow there’s no way.”

    Most of the plug-ins seem to be that way. I haven’t paid attention: are they THAT much more engineering/parts expensive? Seems like if you’ve already got a hybrid it’s a matter of a plug, some cable, and some additional code on the charging system that’s already in place. Maybe it’s a cooling thing?

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      For the Fusion, the difference for similarly equipped models is $4500. For that money, you get the charging system and a battery that is five times larger.

      There is a Federal tax credit of $4000 available if you are eligible to take it.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    How much would it cost to just add 120v charging to a normal hybrid model just to top up charge when you are home? Seems kind of dumb to make it a whole separate model even if the battery is a little larger.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The battery in the PHEV Accord Hybrid is 6.7 kwh, while the regular hybrid battery is only 1.3 kwh.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Plugging in a standard hybrid’s battery does not make any sense for a couple of reasons. First is that the EV range is very small only a mile or two for most. The car tries to keep the battery at about 50% to provide room for regen braking and excess power generated by the engine on warm up. Second is that warm up period when the engine does a cold start they need to keep it running until it reaches a minimum temp for emissions purposes and at a high idle.

      So the reality is that to maximize the mpg from a standard hybrid you want to start it with a depleted battery pack to capture the excess power from the engine on cold start up.

      So plugging one in if you did not demand any heat (since the typical hybrid uses engine heat) you could get a mile or so down the road before the engine would start up.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        I drive a Fusion PHEV, which is very well instrumented, and I can tell you that the amount of charge the battery receives during engine warm up is very low, less than the amount of regen from one 30 mph stop. The engine just doesn’t put out much power at a fast idle, so the motor-generator isn’t able to charge the battery very much.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I drive a standard Fusion Hybrid and the warm up certainly does produce a lot more excess power than the regen from a 30mph stop. If it starts with a battery at a 25% or so SOC it will reach a 90% SOC before the engine is at a high enough temp for engine off operation in the fall winter or spring. In the summer it will recharge the battery from a 50% SOC before it reaches engine off temp. There is a big difference in the usable capacity of a regular hybrid and a plug in version even on the PIP with its measly EV range.

  • avatar

    Want rare?

    2013 Mercedes E400 Sport Hybrid

    I had/retailed one. Apparently, me an ~281 others.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    I don’t know what, if any, trunk money was on these things, but that price didn’t help. Roommate was x-shopping Accords (previous car) and Priii (long commute) and the $40k Accord PHEV made no sense. Ultimately ended up with a 4cyl Accord for little more than half that.

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    I love Honda hybrids. Why? They laid around so long that the owner/GM puts $500 to $1000 spiff on them just to get rid of them (Insights, CRZs and Civics…yum!) I’ll never forget the day I sold a 2012 Insight for full sticker to some guy who just didn’t give a crap as long as he didn’t have to drive his Dodge Ram anymore. Mind you gas was near $5 bucks a gallon near me at the time. With the spiff I think I think I made close to 2k commission on that car. Lovely my Honda days were!

    On a side note, I got to have pretty extensive time in the seat of a 2015 Accord Hybrid…now that is a Hybrid done right. My friend gets 50-60mpgs on his 28 mile commute. His best on a tank is 806 miles. That’s pretty insane.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah the Accord Hybrid is a great design, if Honda finally spec’ed out a decent battery it is a great car. If it is like the batteries in the previous Honda Hybrids it will be worth less than a regular Accord in 5 or so years.

    • 0 avatar
      ravenchris

      Wow, 50-60 mpg.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, everything I’ve heard about the new Hybrids indicates that it is *finally* competitive (and perhaps better) than Toyota’s and Ford’s systems. Now, put it in the CR-V and Civic and Honda might actually develop a decent reputation for them.

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