Honda launches first plug-in hybrid in United States
The Accord Plug-in Hybrid is the second model to launch under the carmaker’s Earth Dreams Technology banner, following the European-market Civic 1.6 i-DTEC late last year. It uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine and 170bhp electric motor, with the latter supplied by a lithium ion battery pack.
After a three-hour charge, drivers will be able to cover 13 miles using only the electric motor, or switch between petrol and part-electric modes as required. Under heavy acceleration, the petrol engine is used to boost the power output of the electric motor. A new HondaLink smartphone app allows owners to check charging progress remotely.
The EPA has awarded the Accord Plug-in Hybrid a 115MPGe rating on its electric vehicle test cycle, higher than the Ford C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrid (110MPGe), Chevrolet Volt (98MPGe) and Prius Plug-in (95MPGe). Combined fuel economy using the petrol engine is higher than all except the Prius.
Prices start at £39,780, a £6,350 increase over the equivalent V6 petrol non-hybrid version, and the car has been approved to use the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes in California regardless of how many are on board.