No more IMA lights?
Despite its more mild hybrid tendencies I’ve mostly been a fan of Honda’s hybrid cars. However, a number of battery-related problems in recent years have made me question Honda’s commitment to hybrids.
But, now that lithium will replace the sometimes shoddy NiMH battery packs in the upcoming 2012 Civic hybrid, it might be time to forgive and forget.
OK. For those now suffering or having suffered through Honda’s hybrid problems, there might never be forgiveness. Honda’s handling of some of the problems facing early Honda hybrid supporters has been appalling. Period.
Thinking forward, however, Honda is an important automaker and their hybrid vehicles have great meaning in the fuel economy debate. Consequently, some 2012 Honda Civic hybrid spyshots on InsideLine set up an obvious question: How much more fuel efficient will the new lithium-powered Civic hybrid be?
The spyshots show the new Civic hybrid being tested along with the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight. Thus, its impossible not to wonder how close the new Civic hybrid will come to matching the fuel economy numbers of the Prius.
Without a larger battery pack, catching up to the Prius seems impossible. However, adding a larger battery pack, especially one made of lithium, also increases costs. Of course, no automaker made the kind of NiMH investment that did Toyota. So, maybe the cost difference between lithium and NiMH isn’t as extreme for Honda.
Anyway, greatly looking forward to the final Civic hybrid fuel economy numbers.