Honda has been criticized for its current hybrid lineup, which is basically a mild hybrid system that doesn’t have enough power to propel the vehicle on electricity alone for extended periods. Honda is currently working on a new plug-in hybrid system that should be a big improvement over the current Integrated Motor Assist system that the Insight, Civic and CR-Z currently use.
Hirohisa Ogawa, a chief engineer of battery research at Honda recently stated that Honda’s new mid-sized plug-in hybrids will be able to travel up to 15 miles in electric-only mode. The system uses a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and a 120 kW electric motor. It will take 2 to 2.5 hours to recharge the battery using a 120-volt outlet and 1 to 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet. When the electric power runs out the system switches to a 2.0L i-VTEC 4-cyl, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT).
The new technology is expected to debut in 2012 and the first vehicle that will receive the it will be the Accord.
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