Honda still committed to hybrids, but not in Europe
In a statement, Honda said it would continue to roll out its efficient engines, transmissions and electrification under the Earth Dreams Technology banner, something it expects to complete over the next four years.
Earth Dreams Technology has focused on new diesel engines for the European market, but also includes the manufacturer’s new two-motor hybrid system, debuted on the Accord Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid sold in North America.
Unlike the Integrated Motor Assist system used on Honda hybrids to date, which used electrification to reduce the load on the petrol engine, this new drivetrain can be driven entirely on electric or petrol power as well as combining the two sources. The two-motor system brings Honda’s technology in line with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive.
Production of the outgoing Insight will end this summer, the carmaker added, with the last models on run-out until the end of the year. Its replacement – likely to use the new two-motor drivetrain – will be available in selected markets which don’t include diesel-dominated Europe.
Michael Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda, said: ‘No manufacturer has more experience with electromotive technologies than Honda and we are committed to applying our expertise to a wide range of products in the coming years. Our hybrid vehicle strategy will focus on new models aimed at delivering the class-leading fuel economy and performance our customers' desire in segments that represent significant growth opportunities.’