Honda Hybrid History And The Road Ahead
TULLAMARINE, AUSTRALIA – Apr 16, 2012: Honda's cumulative worldwide hybrid vehicle sales surpassed 800,000 units at the end of December 2011.
This milestone was reached 12 years and two months after the start of sales of the first-generation Honda Insight in Japan in November 1999, which delivered fuel economy of 35km/litre, and was the world's highest fuel economy among all petrol powered vehicles at the time.
“Honda has a strong commitment to reducing the environmental impact of all our products. With a reputation for waste reduction, Honda’s efforts extend from conserving energy through motion-sensitive lights at Honda Australia Head office, to a large supply of vehicles coming out of our zero waste factory in Japan,” said Honda Australia Spokesperson Mr. Lindsay Smalley.
In 2001, Honda introduced the first-generation Insight, the first petrol-electric hybrid automobile sold in Australia, which achieved 2.8 litres/100km on highway cycle, making it Australia’s most fuel efficient car. Honda’s original Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) powertrain combined a lightweight and efficient petrol engine with an ultra-thin electric motor that supplied low-end torque and power assistance as needed.
This milestone comes as another exciting new model was introduced to the Australian market in November 2011, the Honda CR-Z. Changing perceptions of hybrids, the sporty CR-Z is the world’s first hybrid to be paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Only a month after its release in Australia, the CR-Z was awarded one of Australia’s most coveted motoring awards, Wheels Car of the Year.
This award joins a string of other accolades for the CR-Z, including Japan’s Car of the Year and Top Gear UK Magazines Green Car of the Year.
The ninth-generation Civic Hybrid was released in February 2012 with significant upgrades, including a lithium ion battery and new 1.5 Litre i-VTEC engine coupled with Honda’s IMA (integrated motor assist). Together, the petrol engine and electric motor produce 82 kW at 5500 rpm and 172Nm of torque at 1000-3500 rpm and achieves 4.4 litres/100kms (combined urban and extra urban)
A total of six new hybrid models have been introduced by Honda around the world in the last three years. Today, Honda sells seven hybrid models in around 50 countries, including the CR-Z, Insight and newly released ninth-generation Civic Hybrid.
Honda's annual worldwide hybrid sales for 2011 was around 200,000 units, an increase of 30% compared to 2010, and Honda's total hybrid sales during the last three years exceeded 500,000 units.
Under the global environmental slogan of "Blue Skies for Our Children", Honda will continue its efforts to realise a cleaner future with more and more sales of hybrid vehicles.