Honda to Launch Car Using 'Affordable' Hybrid Engine
December 13, 2007
Last Thursday, an executive from Honda Motor Co. announced their plans of introducing an affordable small car to be powered by a gas-electric hybrid engine and diesel editions of its large vehicles. For the Japanese automaker, fuel efficiency will be provided by their American models in case these plans become a reality.
Tetsuo Iwamura, Honda U.S. sales and marketing unit head also emphasized that the plans would greatly depend on what type of fuel efficiency and alternative technologies the American consumers would patronize and the extent of the fuel efficiency requirements as provided by the average corporate fuel economy the government would implement.
"At this moment, we say hybrid for small cars and diesel for large cars… but we have several other alternatives we are looking into," Mr. Iwamura said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
To make better preparations for the new corporate average fuel economy law, the Honda executive also said that his company would like to see the details of the new legislation as soon as possible. By doing this, the Tokyo based automaker would determine the best fuel economy technology to be deployed in the U.S.
Aside from hybrid and clean diesel technologies, Iwamura revealed that Honda is considering introducing flex-fuel cars that can run on ethanol and also cars powered by natural gas. However, specific details of these plans are not told.
Since Honda needs more time for these jobs to be completed, the automaker is seeing the small affordable hybrid and the diesel technologies as their focal points at present.
Iwamura described the new small hybrid as a highly affordable subcompact hybrid scheduled for launching in 2009. It is the first strategy Honda is taking for the fuel efficiency goals for the U.S. consumers. In North America, Imwamura said that Honda is slating about 100,000 units and also 100,000 for all other countries.
Compared to Honda’s Civic hybrid which is with additional $4,000 than the gasoline-engine version, Iwamura said that the automaker plans to make only $2,000 additional hybrid premium. That is almost same as what consumers pay for the optional satellite-based navigation system.
It is a "hybrid for everybody," he said.
The Honda executive said the current sentiment in the U.S. also makes it an ideal time for Honda to introduce vehicles powered by the newly developed clean engine diesel engine that meet air-quality standards in all 50 U.S. states. He declined to say in what vehicles Honda Motor Co. which also makes original Acura CL exhaust plans to introduce the new diesel engine.
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