Honda Hybrid Vehicles

Honda has a long and rich history of environmental consciousness, dating back to its original hybrid-electric car, the Insight. When Honda introduced that model at the 1999 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it wowed the crowds with its futuristic look and unheard-of mpg rating of up to 70 highway, which made it the most fuel-efficient gas-powered (non-plug-in) car at that time.

Back then the Insight was a two-passenger hatchback. Now it's in its third generation, in the form of a well-equipped sedan based on the Civic. The 2019 Honda Insight achieves up to 55 mpg and 151.5 hp from its Integrated Power Assist combo, a 1.5-liter Atkinson gasoline engine (99 lb-ft of torque) paired with an electric motor (197 lb-ft of torque) and an auxiliary motor that serves as its generator and starter. The Insight's battery pack is housed beneath the rear seats, but that doesn't detract from the passenger space back there, as there's ample room for three.

Honda Hybrid Models Through the Years

Honda introduced the hybrid version of its ever-popular Civic sedan in Japan at the end of 2001 and in the U.S. in the first half of 2002, with the Accord Hybrid following later that year. Honda suspended the gas-electric Accord's production in 2007 and dropped the Civic Hybrid in 2015. The Accord Hybrid, however, returned for the 2014 model year as a much-improved version that got more miles to the gallon than before and pleased many more green-minded buyers.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid debuted in December of 2017. It's the only hybrid car in the Clarity line, as well as the only Clarity that can be purchased (the other two offerings, the Clarity Electric and the Clarity Fuel Cell, are only available through leasing). This hybrid's 1.5-liter VTEC four-cylinder engine works with the AC Permanent-Magnet Synchronous electric motor to make 212 horsepower and achieve up to 110 combined MPGe, as rated by the EPA. It offers state-of-the-art technology, LED headlights, and a sophisticated interior built with eco-conscious materials (ultra-suede made through recycling, plant-based fabrics) with room for five adults. It's constructed with aerodynamic touches all around, even underneath, to maximize airflow and fuel efficiency.

Integrated Motor Assist

Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) dual-motor power-split system is now in its third generation. It uses two electric motors with the 1.5-liter gasoline engine to reach 151 hp and 197 lb-ft of torque (electric). The second motor works to charge the battery while the car is being driven around town. The driver can select from four driving modes - EV, Hybrid, Engine, and Sport - which differ in how they use the gas and electric power solo or in combination. Honda was the pioneer of this engine-with-two-motors arrangement, and it is currently used on the Insight and Accord Hybrid. The Clarity, which differs in that it's a plug-in hybrid, uses the previous generation of the IMA system. IMA has been significantly improved in power output and efficiency from its original version, and it also now costs less to produce.


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