The Accord plug-in coaxed me into a little competition with myself every time out to achieve maximum fuel efficiency…
They should just call the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan The Gas Miser.
The car is here for market testing right now but surely, it will see production next year and arrive in dealerships later in the year. And when it does, sell your shares in Big Oil.
It only sips gas by the spoonful; how else do you account for an easily achievable 4.1 L/100km combined city/highway fuel economy rating?
Drive gently around town and you can purr along in all-electric mode for between 20 and 28 kms depending on road conditions. You won’t achieve that all at once, unless it’s the dead of night on a flat road, without any other traffic and green lights all the way.
However, it is estimated that if you achieve that 20-plus all-electric ride during a 100 km journey, the power unit will consume electricity/gasoline at an equivalency of around 1.6 L/100km. In truth, it’s hard to put a real life meaning into that number but it is useful when comparing with other similarly equipped cars.
But when you look at that number and the low gas/hybrid combined fuel performance, which enables you to journey 800 kilometres on one tank, it does plant the notion in one’s head that plug-in hybrids are the way to go for a while before we reach hydrogen fuel cell nirvana.
The car is powered by Honda’s first two-motor hybrid system, and uses a new, delightfully named, Earth Dreams 2.0 litre i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine producing 137 horsepower, teamed with a powerful 124-kilowatt (kW) electric motor. Electric driving is supported by a 6.7 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery, and total system output is 196 horsepower.
If your eyes glazed over at the obligatory statement of power unit specifications, join the club! Fuel economy interests me more.
Like every other car with green aspirations that I have driven, it coaxed me into a little competition with myself every time out to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. It’s fun to select EV mode and pull away in the morning in silence, operating as a pure electric vehicle. Even in stop and go traffic, it works well, the regenerative braking keeps topping up the battery.
As the speedo creeps up the gas engine kicks in quietly and smoothly. If you select HV mode it operates as a conventional hybrid.
I drove a production version of the Ford Fusion Energi a few months ago, which is similarly equipped and impresses equally with its infrequent need to visit the pump. The plug in Toyota Prius is another contender for the green dollar. The Ford is probably the nearest equivalent and sells for around $35,000 so that will be the sticker price to beat.
I would like to hear from early adopters of the plug in hybrid technology about their experiences.