Honda is hitting the hybrid vehicle market more aggressively with the release of three new vehicles this year. Honda’s new Accord hybrid, the Clarity hybrid, and the 2019 Insight are sure to quench the thirst of environmentally conscious motorists. Out of this trio, the only one available in Canada right now is the Clarity plug-in hybrid that hit dealerships the end of December 2017. The Accord hybrid release date should be announced the end of April, and the Insight will possibly be available by the end of this summer.
At this point in time, Honda has no plans for an all-electric vehicle to be on Canada’s streets and highways. According to Honda’s Canadian assistant vice-president of product planning and business development, Hayato Mori, “We don’t think the pure electric vehicle is right for Canadians – in an emergency, you need to be able to fill up in five minutes.” He also stated that “We think hydrogen is the answer – it’s the cleanest energy source you can get. All it produces is electricity and water, and it fills up in three to five minutes.” Having said this, it is interesting that there are no hydrogen-fueled Hondas available in Canada, only plug-in hybrid options.
The Clarity offers exceptional efficiency in a classic Honda silhouette
The first of these plug-in hybrids to be released this year is the Honda Clarity. There’s nothing about the exterior, except for the position of the plug-in access in front of the driver’s side door, that indicates it is anything other than a regular gasoline-fueled Honda sedan.
Two electric motors and a gas-powered 1.5L 4-cylinder engine keep the Clarity running seamlessly
This front-wheel drive car is powered by a combination of a 1.5-litre Atkinson 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors and an electronic transmission. The electric motor and gas engine produce 212 horsepower and its fuel economy ranks up to 5.6L in the city and up to 2.1L on the highway (litres/100m). The battery recharge times vary from 2.5 hours at 240 volts or 12 hours on a 120-volt home outlet.
With this hybrid system, you can use only electric power up until 160 km/h, but once you push the gas pedal past a certain point, it kicks in the gas engine. The transition from electric to power is seamless so drivers won’t even know it has switched, and they have three different power modes to choose from including econ, normal, and sport.
Honda’s tech and safety features are included in the Clarity hybrid
The Clarity boasts a roomy interior and comes loaded with standard features such a rear-view camera, heated front seats, eight-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, and Honda’s wide array of safety technology. Additional comfort and convenience features can be found on the Touring model.
Honda’s best-selling sedan, the Accord, just got its own green counterpart
Next to hit the Canadian market is the Honda Accord hybrid. It is efficiently powered by an Atkinson-cycle 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, as well as two electric motors. This energy-saving version of the Accord delivers a combined performance of 212 HP with 232 lb-ft of torque, and an expected 5.1L/100 km fuel efficiency.
The Accord hybrid’s powertrain offers three different modes including 100% electric, hybrid, and gas engine. Equipped with energy recovery technology, drivers utilize deceleration selector paddles on the steering wheel, adjusting the performance level of the regenerative braking with four different parameters for higher efficiency.
This version of the Accord comes in two trim lines, hybrid and Touring hybrid, and still offers plenty of cargo space, as well as enough room for a 60/40 split fold-down bench in the rear.
The third time’s the charm with the newly unveiled Honda Insight hybrid sedan
More Honda hybrid news arrived during the New York International Auto show. They debuted the 3rd generation of their Insight plug-in hybrid with an all-new sedan, yes, sedan. Gone is the original futuristic silhouette with its classic hatchback design, similar to the Toyota Prius.
Insight doesn’t sacrifice performance for efficiency
This compact sedan falls between the Civic and the Accord in Honda’s lineup and boasts a 1.5-litre Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder gas engine connected to a motor/generator and a 60-cell lithium-ion battery. It delivers a combined 151 horsepower and 197 lb/ft of torque, along with a projected 5.2L/100 km fuel economy in the city.
Standard features on the Honda Insight include full LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a seven-inch TFT digital info screen, push-button start, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and a folding rear seat. A bevy of additional options can be found on the Touring version of the Insight. For more information about Accord, Clarity, and Insight availability and arrivals, contact Alberta Honda today.