By on June 15, 2015

2015 Honda Civic Hybrid

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.

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26 Comments on “Honda Civic Hybrid, CNG and Accord Plug-In Hybrid Models Get the Axe...”


  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    Wait, there’s an Accord plug-in hybrid?

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    The CNG Civic has a really small tank – less than a 200-mile range, whereas the gasoline-powered Civics can usually get 300 miles to a tank.

    I’ve looked at a couple of used ones, but in the entire Seattle area, there are only a few (three IIRC) places that you can refill it and they are all about 20-30 miles away from my house.

    Nobody will miss it.

    Oh, and they blow up really good as well:

    http://depts.washington.edu/vehfire/hybridalternative/CNGAutoFireMay2007.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      I thought the thrill of the CNG Civic was being able to charge it in your garage with the taxpayer-subsidized “Phil” system. Actually, I think we (California) lost the subsidy on Phil a few years back, which explains why Honda is dropping the whole thing.

      Many people seem to complain about range on the 80-mile Leafs and the like… Well, the CNG Civic has a 200 mile range, can be filled at home, can be filled at some select stations, costs less than a Leaf, gets carpool use, and still no takers! Oh well. Fickle bunch. Maybe the problem is that the CNG Civic pollutes at the tailpipe instead of polluting at the power station.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I like CNG for the reasons you mentioned, it’s practical for vehicles with routine routes within their range. Customers that buy based on practicality and cost like them, like fleet managers. Unfortunately CNG vehicles don’t have the marketing glow of hybrids or EVs, so the general public doesn’t have much interest.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The problem with the CNG version of the Civic was it was offered for years in only poverty spec (they updated that a couple of years ago) and it basically had no trunk, because the CNG tank was located there.

        I’m a huge fan of CNG, agree with Pickens on the opportunity we have and our supply.

        If the ‘guberment wanted to hand out tax credits for retrofit of CNG in vehicles (it is ridiculously expensive to do for some reason) I would be first in line to sign up for it and I’d convert the commuter.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        The home filling unit is expensive to buy and install. Also, the NG coming out of your lines isn’t always clean enough for use as motor fuel.

        • 0 avatar
          jim brewer

          Right. The home fueling systems rely on mechanical compression of the fuel. Commercial systems are based on chilling of the fuel. The difference is that chilling removes moisture from the fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      “The CNG Civic has a really small tank – less than a 200-mile range, whereas the gasoline-powered Civics can usually get 300 miles to a tank.”

      That’s my problem with the CR-Z… something like a 10-gallon tank and a hybrid system that is only middling in terms of efficiency and range. There’s just no reason to buy a CR-Z unless it’s for around-town use.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    Honda really screwed up their hybrids. Huge LiIon battery life problems. This is one reason they never had the success Toyota has. They need to start over. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/02/honda-civic-hybrid-battery-reliability-gets-worse/index.htm

    • 0 avatar
      galaxygreymx5

      The failed Honda IMA batteries were all NiMH, not Li-Ion. Honda only switched to Lithium two model years ago and there’s not enough data one way or the other on those yet.

      Nevertheless, Honda screwed the pooch with their terrible battery longevity and clunky IMA setup. They definitely needed the ’14 Accord Hybrid reboot (Voltec-like powertrain setup combined with lithium batteries)

    • 0 avatar
      poltergeist

      The Civic Hybrid batteries with the high failure rate were/are NiMH, used up to the 2011 model. The 2012-up uses Li-ion which have proven to have a much lower failure rate.

  • avatar
    Chan

    With the demise of the Civic Hybrid, the uncompetitive IMA saga will finally be over.

    And now that Honda has a great direct drive hybrid system to put into as many models as it wishes, there is no real market for a $50k Accord.

  • avatar
    Highway27

    I really like almost everything about my 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid, and think it would have been cool to have the Plug-in, but not for 5k more (plus, I’d have always run it on battery power because my drive is so short, so I probably wouldn’t have filled up the tank but 3 times a year). I’d love to see Honda put the i-MMD hybrid in other vehicles, because I think it’s super-trick. I’m not sad to see the IMA go away, at all.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      You might consider using alcohol-free gas (go to http://www.pure-gas.org to find a station) in your car if you aren’t filling it but a few times per year. It will not go bad or draw in moisture like pump gas will. Plus, your fuel economy when on gas will increase as well.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    My apologies to Adam Davis…

    http://oppositelock.kinja.com/honda-donates-all-leftover-honda-insights-to-the-irs-1676717921

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I took a hard look at the CNG Civic (built here in Greensburg, Indiana) with a home fueling setup.

    Between the complaints on the reliability of the home compressor, and the capital investment, it didn’t look good financially at all.

    And that was when gasoline was $3.50/gal.

  • avatar
    wmba

    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?

  • avatar
    JimC2

    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!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    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.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    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.

    http://www.hybridcars.com/wp-content/uploads/files/2008-civic-hybrid-610.jpg
    http://archive.wired.com/news/images/full/2006-honda-civic-hybrid_f.jpg

    So shiny and flat!

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