Auto Plant in Marysville Will Expand, Adding 50 U.S. Jobs,
Japan-Built Plug-In EPA-Rated at 115 MPGe in Battery Mode
Honda of America Manufacturing says it will invest $23 million and hire approximately 50 people at its Marysville, Ohio auto plant to add production of the new two-motor Accord Hybrid Sedan, slated to go on sale nationwide this fall. It will be the third Honda hybrid built in the U.S. and the first in Ohio.
The Marysville expansion entails the addition of 95,000 square feet “to house assembly processes and logistics specifically for production of the Accord Hybrid,” Honda says. The main assembly line is being lengthened, with space added for related parts receiving and sub-assembly operations. “The project also will increase overall efficiency of the plant’s parts logistics operations,” Honda says.
Both the Accord Hybrid and the made-in-Japan Accord Plug-In Hybrid combine a 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with a 124-kilowatt traction electric motor that can function as an electric continuously variable transmission (e-CVT), and a 105-KW electric motor for power generation.
Also this month, Honda said that the Accord Plug-In Hybrid, which includes a 6.7-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for an all-electric range of about 13 miles, has rated by the U.S. EPA at 115 MPGe in all electric mode, “making it the most fuel-efficient sedan in America.”
The vehicle has gone on sale at select New York and California Honda dealers with an MSRP of $39,7802 and a monthly lease price of $429.
Driver Can Opt for Battery-Only
“The new two-motor hybrid system allows the Accord Plug-In powertrain to transition seamlessly between all-electric EV Drive, gasoline-electric Hybrid Drive; and direct Engine Drive,” Honda says. In default start-up mode, the Accord Plug-In acts as a pure electric vehicle and remains in full-electric mode until battery state-of-charge necessitates the automatic switch to gas/electric hybrid operation.
Or, “at higher speeds and engine loads, such as during aggressive acceleration, the gasoline engine kicks in to provide additional power.” Drivers can manually select the EV mode.
Separately, American Honda announced a two month extension to its $3,000 free fuel card promotion for the dedicated-CNG Civic Natural Gas sedan (F&F, October 9). The new deadline is March 4.
The Civic Natural Gas is managed out of American Honda’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle group in Torrance, Calif., as is the lease-only pure battery electric Fit EV. Fleet placements of the Accord Plug-In are currently limited to Zipcar, advises Robert Langford of the AFV group.
“Any fleet activity beyond that will be handled by participating dealers (fleet-tail) , similar to the rest of the Honda lineup,” Langford says.
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Source: American Honda multiple releases with Fleets & Fuels follow-up