This week, the news was how Honda planned to scrap its work on clean diesels to focus more intensely on making hybrids. It was kind of a downer, as everybody and their mother seems to be jumping on the hybrid band wagon while work on other alternatives gets less press. Today, Honda made an officially official announcement regarding their plans.
By 2012, Honda says they will not only be selling a plug-in hybrid car, but also a 100% electric vehicle as well. So much for clean diesels and hydrogen, eh?
No details yet on either vehicle, which says to me that Honda still has a long, long way to go before these cars are ready for the road. Honda has in many ways fallen behind Toyota, its crosstown rival who produces the popular Prius hybrid. Part of the reason can be blamed for their lack of focus on one particular technology. Honda has spread itself thin in terms of research and development. They’ve got the fuel-cell FCX Clarity hydrogen car, a slew of diesels in Europe, and the half-baked Insight hybrid. The sole bright spot in their alt-fuel future seems to be the CR-Z hybrid sport coupe, which despite its middling gas mileage has excited many Honda enthusiasts.
I guess you could say Honda is playing it safe. Hybrids are easier to develop, and quite popular to consumers, and there is already an established infrastructure. Hydrogen, in comparison, is expensive and lacks fueling facilities in Honda’s biggest market, America. Diesels also aren’t popular in the U.S., another reason why Honda seems to be refocusing its efforts on EV’s and hybrids. The devil is in the details though, and Honda hasn’t show us any of those yet.
As Honda’s President Takanobu Ito told reporters at he assembly plant where he delivered his speech, “Honda has no future unless we achieve significant reduction in CO2 emissions.” Yes indeed, Mr Ito.
Source: The Detroit News | Image: Honda
Chris DeMorro is a car enthusiast, blogger, and all-around crazy man who is as passionate about hybrids as he is about Hemis. You can follow his constant misadventures at Three Months In A Mustang.