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05hybrid

A couple weeks ago, my local Sunday paper had an article about Honda Accords and it mentioned that Honda will soon have an Accord hybrid. This week’s article was about the Chevy Malibu hybrid. It talked about the electric motor that supplements the gas engine. It described exactly how my 2005 Accord hybrid works. We bought it new in 2005 and we love the car. It has a 255 HP gas engine and a 16 HP permanent magnet electric motor. It’s fun to drive because of the acceleration and the gas mileage is very good. We get 24 MPG around town and 39 on trips. So, my questions are: Why haven’t we seen or heard more about this car? Was Honda concerned about their new technology, so they only built a few of them? I’d like to have your thoughts.

Thanks,
05hybrid

Honda stopped building them because the cost was significantly higher than the EX V6. So much higher that the hybrid feature would not pay for itself until well over 100,000 miles. Buyers noticed this and didn’t buy the hybrid. Even the car magazines said to buy the Accord hybrid for the power but not the skimpy mileage increase.

The Accord hybrid was set up for strong acceleration and with less emphasis on higher fuel economy. They used their normal sized and powered V6 and a small electric motor. This achieved great acceleration but not much of an increase in MPG compared to other cars of similar size. The extra cost did not appeal to buyers of hybrids who expect more mpg and were not really looking for more acceleration. It is a good car that simply missed the market.

The same Accord with a smaller, say 60 hp gas engine, and 60 hp electric motor would have achieved much higher mpg and still been fast enough to satisfy most buyers. Honda was trying to use readily available parts to save money but it simply didn’t work out. The car was a poor seller and eventually dropped from the Honda lineup.