Honda Civic Hybrid, CNG and Accord Plug-In Hybrid Models Get the Axe

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
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honda civic hybrid cng and accord plug in hybrid models get the axe

UPDATE: Clarification on CR-Z at bottom.

Honda is doing a bit of late spring cleaning as it looks to get its hybrid house in order. The automaker announced production of the Civic CNG has ended and multiple hybrid models will soon get the axe.

Honda isn’t abandoning hybrid technology, however, as John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., hinted there are replacements in the pipeline in a release sent out today.

According to his statement – titled “Advancing Environment a Natural Fit in Honda Vehicle Lineup” – the Honda Civic CNG and Civic Hybrid will end with the ninth-generation compact. The tenth-generation Civic will instead offer two engines – one normally aspirated and one turbocharged, in addition to the Type R – and Honda will abandon its single motor hybrid system in favor of two- and three-motor variants.

Another model to get the axe is the Accord Plug-In Hybrid. Mendel states it won’t be offered going forward, but a new Accord Hybrid will debut early next year. Also being introduced next year is Honda’s next-generation fuel cell vehicle along with an “all-new battery electric model and the all-new plug-in hybrid model.”

The latest hybrid cull at Honda comes a little over a year after the company killed of the Honda Insight due to slow sales.

The end of the single motor hybrid IMA system also spells the end for the Honda CR-Z, at least in its current form, though when that will take place is uncertain.

Robyn Eagles, spokesperson for Honda North America, stated the CR-Z will continue into MY2016 and Honda is still committed to green technologies, but the CR-Z’s technological makeup beyond 2016 is uncertain.

Mark Stevenson
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4 of 26 comments
  • Wmba Wmba on Jun 15, 2015

    A new Accord Hybrid debuting early next year? I have been trying to get a drive of the existing model with no luck since October 2013. Apparently dealers around these parts cannot get them at all, and production in the US was wound up. All Accord hybrids supposedly are now made in Japan. Does anyone know for sure what's going on?

  • JimC2 JimC2 on Jun 15, 2015

    The Civic Hybrid had some very "Rube Goldberg" engineering (think the mousetrap board game). Two air conditioning compressors (one belt, one electric). Couldn't creep on electricity alone, the (gasoline) engine had to start up if you wanted to creep forward in traffic- or coast downhill for any distance. CVT on the first generation of the car didn't have a transmission filter because... because Honda. Worst of all, the battery pack was simply too small. Either the engine or the transmission (or both) had a small electric oil pump to maintain lubrication after each auto-stop, and that was pretty smart. The cylinder shutoff system was pretty smart too- use the (proven) VTEC to simply *not* open valves, keep the engine connected to the drivetrain, in gear, and revving, but with minimal friction. The car was a marvel of low friction and I enjoyed being able to coast a long long ways like this and/or "pulse and glide" other times (look it up, the hybrid hypermiling fanbois came up with the term). Edit: the first generation would idle three of the four cylinders when you were coasting because... because Honda (very strange design decision, Honda). The second generation would idle all four. The instruments for the IMA system were elegantly simple and I thought much better than competitors'. Little bars, above a horizontal line, would light up, one by one up to ten, as you used electric assist. Or little bars below the line would tell you how fast you were charging the battery. And another row of bars told you how much was left in the battery (just like a cell phone display). None of the goofy spinning wheels or flashing arrows flowing one was or the other (neither of which gave _quantity_ information) like the Prius or those silly growing leaves (those were in some Fords, I think). Oh well. Bye bye, Civic Hybrid!

  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Jun 16, 2015

    About time. The Accord Hybrid two-motor system is finally competitive with the others out there (actually, better, in terms of real-world fuel economy). IMA was an attempt to get some of the benefits of hybrid operation on the cheap. I hope we see versions of the Accord's system both further downmarket, in Fit and Civic (with appropriately smaller gas engines), and upmarket in Acuras with a V6.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jun 16, 2015

    I always noticed the mid-late 00s Civic Hybrids, because of the special wheel design they used, which I dubbed "CD-style" in my mind. So shiny and flat!