Honda to Offer Hybrid-electric Accord in 2004

Improved and less costly fuel cell stack to emerge at Honda in 2005

Published: 06-Jan-2004

DETROIT, Jan. 5, 2004 -- Honda Motor Co., Ltd., President and CEO Takeo Fukui today announced plans to further advance the company’s leadership in the development and application of leading edge environmental technologies with the following actions:

  • Introduction in 2004 of a V6 powered gas-electric hybrid Accord using Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system in combination with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology for V6 performance with fuel economy equivalent to a four-cylinder Civic;

  • Introduction in 2005 of a Honda-developed fuel cell stack with increased performance and fuel efficiency, reduced cost and the ability to start in below freezing temperatures;

  • Application of Honda Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology to another new model to be introduced this fall.

    Slated for introduction later this year as a 2004 model, the mid-size Accord Hybrid brings hybrid power to Honda’s best-selling model, delivering an even higher level of performance than the already powerful 240-horsepower Accord V6 Sedan with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder, compact-class Civic.

    The Accord Hybrid is the first V6 application of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist technology and the first hybrid vehicle to employ Variable Cylinder Management technology. Developed by Honda, VCM allows for the deactivation of three of the engine’s six cylinders under certain conditions – such as highway cruising – to deliver even greater fuel efficiency with no sacrifice in performance. VCM will also be applied to another new model being introduced later this year.

    With the addition of the Accord Hybrid, Honda increases to three the number of models featuring its innovative Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid technology, including two of America’s most popular cars – the Honda Civic and Honda Accord. Honda was the first automaker to introduce gas-electric hybrid technology to American consumers when it launched the Honda Insight in December 1999, followed by the Civic Hybrid – the first truly mainstream hybrid vehicle – in March 2002. Together, the Insight and Civic Hybrid captured four of the top five slots in the EPA 2004 fuel economy ratings.

    Breakthrough Honda Fuel Cell Stack

    Furthering Honda’s efforts to make hydrogen power a reality, the company has developed its own fuel cell stack and will introduce a version of its FCX fuel cell vehicle powered by the Honda FC Stack beginning in calendar year 2005.

    This advanced new fuel cell stack is a remarkably compact unit that delivers higher performance with increased range and fuel efficiency and is designed to operate at temperatures as low as -20ºC (-4ºF). Cold weather starting and operation is one of the most significant technical barriers to the mass-market application of fuel cell technology. Honda’s originally developed FC stack is the world’s first fuel cell stack to feature a stamped metal separator structure combined with newly developed electrolyte membranes for improved efficiency, recycleability, and operation over a greater range of temperatures.

    Honda is conducting extensive trials of the FC Stack, including public road evaluations in the U.S. and Japan, in preparation for its introduction next year in the Honda FCX, the first and only fuel cell vehicle certified by the EPA and California Air Resources Board for regular commercial use.

    Honda has long been a pioneer in the development and application of leading edge environmental technologies including the first Low Emissions (LEV) and Ultra-Low Emissions (ULEV) vehicles and the first commercially certified fuel cell vehicle. Today, all Honda and Acura models sold in the U.S. deliver LEV or better emissions performance, while more than 80 percent meet ULEV standards.

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