Honda said today it plans to introduce a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, along with a new dedicate plug-in hybrid vehicle and a new battery electric vehicle over the next several years.
The Japanese automaker said it will introduce a new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in 2016 but did not provide a specific date or say what it will be named. Honda showed the FCV concept at the Detroit auto show in January and has invested $14 million in conjunction with FirstElement, a California hydrogen refueling station company, toward building hydrogen fueling stations.
Honda also said it ceased production of the Accord Plug-in Hybrid as it works on a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Production of the Accord hybrid also has temporarily been halted as production moves to Japan.
“We will not be offering a plug-in version of Accord going forward as we look toward the scheduled launch of a new dedicated plug-in model. But we will expand application of our innovative two- and three-motor hybrid systems in the coming years. The Accord Hybrid is already the most fuel-efficient 5-passenger sedan in America, and the new Accord Hybrid set to debut in early 2016 will raise the bar with the next-generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system for even greater fuel economy and performance. Further, enhancements to production methods for the two-motor system will help lead to a strong increase in Accord Hybrid sales.
We are also working to advance electrified vehicles to meet the diverse needs and wants of environmentally conscious customers. We are developing an entirely new generation of vehicles starting from the introduction in 2016 of our next-generation fuel cell vehicle. This will be followed by an all-new battery electric model and the all-new plug-in hybrid model.”
All three vehicles will have new model names, John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda said today.
Honda will also discontinue production of its Civic hybrid and CNG models and will instead begin producing Civics with more efficient gas engines.
Honda had produced the natural gas powered Civic since 1998, and sold about 16,000. The Civic hybrid has been produced since at least the early 2000s.
“Honda has promoted CNG-powered vehicles for many years. For most of the past 15 years we have been the only automaker with a dedicated CNG vehicle. Despite this commitment, the infrastructure for natural gas refueling and consumer demand remains a challenge. Production of the Civic Natural Gas model has been completed at our Indiana plant, but we will continue to provide a high level of service to our existing customers through CNG-certified Honda dealers.
The Civic Hybrid has played a very important role in helping promote customers’ appreciation for hybrid technology and is presently the only hybrid variant of a mainstream compact sedan. For the future we will place our focus more on our two-motor hybrid system, where we feel we can meet the needs and expectations of customers for hybrids and achieve greater reduction of CO2 emissions,” John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda said on Monday.