Oct 052011
 


The steady march towards a planet-friendly future appears to be continuing as yet another mainstream automaker expands its strategy of producing green vehicles. Japanese firm Honda joined a series of major companies that have announced eco-car initiatives or concepts at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which ends 25 September.

Honda is no stranger to green motoring, of course. For many years now, its Insight hybrid has been locked in a titanic North American battle against Toyota’s legendary Prius, which as the reigning king of US petrol-electric saloon sales.

In recent years, Honda has clawed back some of the gap between it and Toyota, with sales of the Insight overtaking sales of the Prius in Japan back in 2009. Earlier this year (before the big earthquake knocked out much of Japan Inc’s manufacturing capacity), the Honda Fit replaced the Toyota Prius as the number-one selling vehicle in its home market.

Honda Electric Vehicle Concept Eco Car

Honda Electric Vehicle Concept Eco Car

This brings us to Honda’s recent announcement at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The highlight of Honda’s latest eco-car move was a snazzy concept car shown on its stand in Germany.

The Honda EV Concept, dubbed in some reports as an electric Fit (known as the Jazz in both EMEA markets and SE Asia) the concept still doesn’t have an official name. It does, however, now have more details.

The latest Honda concept is due to go into production for the 2012 model year. Motivation will come from a co-axial electric motor that gets its juice from a lithium-ion battery pack.

The electric motor in the production version of the EV Concept is based on the components used in Honda’s FCX Clarity, a fuel-cell vehicle. The new EV will have a top speed in the region of 90mph.

According to Honda, the new car will capable of mustering a range of 100 miles per charge, as defined by the US EPA’s LA4 city cycle. Honda says the range is optimized thanks to a triple-mode electric drive system based on that used in the CR-Z.

The design concept featured on the Honda stand for the Frankfurt Motor Show is the work of Sebastien Wierinck, a young artist. Wierinck used integrated tubes in different colours to represent and link to the environmental technologies developed by Honda.

On the stand, red tubes represent the area marked for conventional petrol and diesel models. Blue, on the other hand, represents fuel-cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen.

Green tubes show the area involved in battery-electric models. A combination of green and red is used to represent hybrid technologies.

All of the variously-coloured tubes join up together at the area of the Honda Dream House. This is where the company shows off many of the technologies it applies in green ways to produce energy, thereby demonstrating Honda’s range of approaches to the objective of zero emissions, underlining the company’s ‘Road to Zero Emissions’ concept and strategy.

The Honda stand in Frankfurt displayed a number of its key eco-friendly vehicles and technologies. In addition to the Honda EV Concept, visitors can see the new 2012 Civic, the 2012 Insight (which generates just 96g/km of CO2), Honda’s Plug-In Hybrid Platform and the FCX Clarity, which Honda calls ‘the ultimate solution’ in the drive for zero emissions mobility.


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