Honda had announced that a new EV concept would be introduced in LA, along with a new plug-in hybrid platform showcasing its next-gen hybrid technology. That's the good news.
Bad news? The EV concept is... a Fit/Jazz! It has a 100-mile range and a top speed of 90 mph. I was hoping to see something more exciting than this. Oh wait, the driver can remotely monitor the charge state… how exciting!!! The production version will be introduced to the US and Japan in 2012.
So, now about the next-gen hybrid technology. The Honda two-motor system continuously moves through three different modes to maximize driving efficiency: all-electric, gasoline-electric and a unique, engine direct-drive mode. The plug-in hybrid also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery.
In all-electric mode, the vehicle uses a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and a powerful 120 kW electric motor. The all-electric mode achieves a range of approximately 10-15 miles in city driving and a top speed of 62 mph. Fully recharging the battery will take 2 to 2.5 hours using a 120-volt outlet and 1 to 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet.
The vehicle can also run in a gasoline-electric hybrid mode, the platform features a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT). An onboard generator adds to the battery powering the electric motor.
For more efficient high-speed cruising, the vehicle can engage in a direct-drive mode, in which only the engine drives the front wheels.