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Accord Plug in Hybrid Prototype Revealed

Honda has been in development of its new Fit platform and recently got it out for a bit of a publicity appearance, and at the same time rolled out an early version of an Accord plug in hybrid. At this point the Accord project is in the very early stages of development, and its eventual platform could take multiple directions, but there are some very interesting details that have already come out of the work the automaker has done so far on the project. One of them has to do with the powertrain of the car, which has three different modes of operation.

Powertrain for New Accord Hybrid

The hybrid system is fitted into an Accord at this point, but it is quite possible that should it come to production, it will probably be as a midsize or larger vehicle and may make an appearance as early as 2012, according to the automaker. The way the hybrid is designed does allow for short trips into town and low mileage excursions of that sort in completely electric mode. Current projections have the limit of the all electric battery mode ranging out at about 10 or 15 miles. The two motor system which is in place allows for three different modes for driving [1]. This is where things get pretty interesting compared to other types of cars like those that run on clean burning biodiesel.

Driving Modes for Prototype Accord

The three modes are all available so that the driver can select the one that will deliver the best driving efficiency based on the situation. This is interesting because it doesn't pigeonhole the Accord prototype as any one particular type of EV or hybrid, but sort of creates a lot of versatility built in. The three types are all electric, a gasoline electric combination, and an engine direct drive mode that is very unique in this class of vehicles.

It uses a lithium ion battery, a type that has been the subject of a whole lot of research lately, when it is in all electric mode, along with an electric motor. The top speed for the car when it is in all electric mode is estimated to be around 62 miles per hour, so short trips on the freeway are not out of the question at all based on these specs. The battery is said to take about 3 or 4 hours to charge all the way up using a 120 volt outlet, but only an hour or an hour and a half when using a 240 volt outlet [1]. As time goes by and these products continue to go into development mode and hit the market, that aspect is going to continue to improve. One of the sources of that improvement would seem to be coming from the research that has been going on in the area of lithium ion batteries.

At this point, it appears as though a production version could hit in 2013 or possibly sooner, so there are chances for things to change as far as the specs are concerned. One of the details that might need to be worked on is the mileage range, which does not seem to be all that impressive in comparison to the Chevrolet Volt, although one surmises that the Accord could also end up with a much lower price tag reflected in car insurance guide sources.

Electric vehicles and hybrids of different types are becoming more important as the domestic auto industry struggles to find ways to cut its (and our) dependence on foreign oil. As more of these cars like the Accord plug in hybrid come into production, it will be curious to see how their car insurance rates compare.

[1] http://green.autoblog.com/2010/12/20/honda-shows-off-accord-plug-in-hybrid/ Retrieved 2010-12-26.

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