The two motor hybrid system, which was used by Honda in the Accord Plug-in Hybrid and Accord Hybrid, has undergone huge updates for use in the all-new Odyssey Hybrid that hit dealerships in Japan earlier this month.
The Japanese automaker revealed in a statement that compared to the old system, the new power control unit, including the electric motors, is 23 percent smaller and 27 percent lighter than the one in the Accord Hybrid. The intelligent power unit, which includes the Li-ion battery, is 11 percent smaller and six percent lighter.
Honda touts its innovative system the ‘Sport Hybrid i-MMD powertrain’. It says the enhancements lead to better fuel economy and power.
During a test drive, hybrid engineer Jiro Kuroki said in an interview that the automaker could use the updated system in a future version of the Accord, but nothing has been decided yet. Honda anticipates that fully one half of its domestic Odyssey sales will be hybrids.
The Japanese version of the Odyssey varies greatly than that of the US version as it is a smaller car built on a totally different platform. To date, it is marketed in 22 countries worldwide, mostly in Asia and the Middle East. Kuroki said that Honda does not have any plans to add a hybrid to the U.S. version as it does not see any demand for it.
Strangely enough, Honda spearheaded the hybrid vehicle parade earlier this century when it launched the original Insight that is equipped with a single electric motor. Since then, two motor systems have become trendy, with the Chevy Volt leading the way.
The automaker also mentioned that Panasonic will supply the batteries for its new hybrid cars.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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