Cites ‘Ability to Advance Fuel Economy Through Conventional’ Engines,
Challenges of Consumer Demand and Natural Gas Fueling Infrastructure,
Is Ending the Civic Hybrid and Accord Plug-In Too in Favor of New Models
American Honda North America said Monday that it’s dropping its dedicated-CNG Civic Natural Gas and Civic Hybrid models as of the end of the year.
“We are rolling out incredible new products that are creating the strongest and most fuel efficient lineup in our history,” automobile division executive VP John Mendel said in a statement. “Our high-volume products of today including Fit, Civic and Accord on the passenger car side and HR-V, CR-V, Pilot and Odyssey on the light truck side, are already achieving best-in-class fuel economy,” he said.
Mendel promised an all-new, tenth-generation Civic for autumn “with top-in-class fuel efficiency and safety” – the goal is class-leading fuel economy, he said, “with EPA highway fuel economy a few ticks above 40 miles per gallon.”
Honda Gave the NGV 15 Years
“Due, in part to this ability to advance fuel economy through conventional engine technology, the Civic lineup will no longer include a hybrid or a natural gas model, as we will discontinue production of both of these products with the end of the 2015 model year,” Mendel said.
The VP noted Honda’s 15-year commitment to the compressed natural gas-fueled Civic, during which time “we have been the only automaker with a dedicated-CNG vehicle.
“Despite this commitment, the infrastructure for natural gas refueling and consumer demand remains a challenge,” he said. Production of the CNG car has ceased at Honda’s plant in Indiana, “but we will continue to provide a high level of service to our existing customers through CNG-certified Honda dealers,” Mendel said.
A New Accord Hybrid Early Next Year
The Civic Hybrid has helped raise awareness, but “for the future,” Mendel said, “we will place our focus more on our two-motor hybrid system.” Also being droped is the Accord plug-in, “as we look toward the scheduled launch of a new dedicated plug-in model.”
“We will expand application of our innovative two- and three-motor hybrid systems in the coming years,” Mendel said, promising that the new Accord Hybrid for early 2016 “will raise the bar with the next-generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system for even greater fuel economy and performance.”
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Source: American Honda with Fleets & Fuels follow-up