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Detroit show: Honda hypes new hybrid model

Scalextric: Honda's two-motor hybrid system will soon move from powering its light trucks, in addition to its passenger cars, as the brand makes a move for broader electrification.

New Honda hybrid scheduled for 2018 debut, but what form it will take still unclear

10 Jan 2017

HONDA has announced a new dedicated hybrid model to be manufactured in the United States and launched in 2018 as part of an initiative to broaden its electric vehicle (EV) portfolio.

The new scheme, dubbed the Honda Electrification Initiative, will also see the Japanese brand expand the use of its two-motor hybrid powertrain from passenger cars to its light truck line-up in the future.

The company is moving decisively towards an alternative fuel future, with Honda Motor Company president and chief executive officer Takahiro Hachigo stating that over half of all new models launched in the US over the next two years to be electric.

"In the long term, electrified vehicles are key to the future of carbon-free mobility," he said.

Honda set a global target of two-thirds of all sales to come from electrified models by 2030 and to halve its total company carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the half-century period from 2000 to 2050.

The new dedicated hybrid vehicle will utilise Honda's two-motor hybrid system currently deployed in the Accord Hybrid, which is claimed by the company to be the most fuel efficient mid-size sedan in America with a combined economy rating of 4.8 litres per 100km.

The new model will be produced at one of Honda’s existing plants in the United States, although exactly which one is currently unclear.

The Honda Accord Hybrid was built at its Marysville factory in Ohio before production shifted to the brand’s Sayama plant in Japan last year.

Additional details on the vehicle will be forthcoming closer to launch.

Hybrids account for a very small amount of vehicles sold in Australia with only 12,625 of them being sold here last year out of the new-car market’s 1,178,133, representing about 1.1 per cent.

Honda sold 29 Accord Hybrids locally, a figure that represented just four per cent of Accord sales in this country.

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