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Honda says G'Bye to diesel and Kei.

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Report: Honda to abandon clean diesel development, focus

on hybrids

by Jeremy

Korzeniewski (RSS

feed) on Jul 16th, 2010 at 4:30PM

honda-ima.jpg

Regular readers know we tend to be big fans of modern diesel engines.

All the past demons that had plagued oil-burners over the years have

been exorcised, including rough running, nasty smells, loud operation

and narrow power bands. But sadly, modern clean diesel powerplants have

never taken hold in the United States.

According to the Nikkei in Japan (via

Reuters), we can add Honda to the list of global

automakers that have abandoned plans to move further into the diesel

realm. Instead, Honda will continue to puts all of its eggs in the

hybrid basket, developing a new system for use in larger vehicles.

Currently, Honda's Integrated Motor Assist technology is used in the Civic Hybrid and the

Insight.

We can only hope that Honda's next hybrid system will expand on its

current IMA tech, which has been unable to match the fuel efficiency and

performance of rival Toyota,

by being able to operate on the electric motor alone for longer

stretches.

In addition to halting development of clean diesel tech, Honda has also

put the brakes on the new microcar plant in Japan that was to build

future Kei cars for the automaker's home market.

[source: Reuters]

So what about the small car showed with a lot of fanfare here?

Durango Dude2010-07-18 16:05:49

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@Ark and Archit - How long do you think it will be before there are heavier penalties and duties on Diesel cars? They are without a doubt the most polluting fuel used in the auto industry. Also, Honda is doing just fine with Petrol engines. Considering the growing effects of pollution which are very clearly visible nowadays, the auto industry should be the first one to take action and come up with an efficient and clean fuel.

Honda's great attitude was also reflected by their efforts with the Hydrogen Fuel Cell car. They should be commended for continuing to work towards a cleaner future and not just worrying about the present.

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@Ark and Archit - How long do you think it will be before there are heavier penalties and duties on Diesel cars? They are without a doubt the most polluting fuel used in the auto industry. Also' date=' Honda is doing just fine with Petrol engines. Considering the growing effects of pollution which are very clearly visible nowadays, the auto industry should be the first one to take action and?come up with an efficient and clean fuel.

Honda's?great?attitude was also reflected by their efforts with the Hydrogen Fuel Cell car. They should be commended for continuing to?work towards a cleaner future and not just worrying about the present.
[/quote']

that is true. though i am talking about the indian market for Honda. No diesel= no success. But globally, yes Hybrids are the way to go. I really like the FCX.

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I feel it's a retrograde step any way you look at it. Moving away from diesel's and small (kei) car's, in one fell stroke, is indeed a bold decision, only time will tell whether or not it's a foolish one. It's not a major player in the premium luxury car stakes. It's Insight has taken a beating from the Prius, too. It's got no diesel tech to speak off. I think Honda must have something revolutionary up it's sleeve.

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I feel it's a retrograde step any way you look at it. Moving away from diesel's and small (kei) car's' date=' in one fell stroke, is indeed a bold decision, only time will tell whether or not it's a foolish one. It's not a major player in the premium luxury car stakes. It's Insight has taken a beating from the Prius, too. It's got no diesel tech to speak off. I think Honda must have something revolutionary up it's sleeve.

[/quote']

if you take it that way, then yes. it is true. Insight got beaten by Prius. The CRZ is also not doing too well. Really it is a must that Honda have to come with something revolutionary.

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I feel it's a retrograde step any way you look at it. Moving away from diesel's and small (kei) car's' date=' in one fell stroke,... [/quote']

 

They aren't moving away from Kei cars - just stopped building a new plant. A good decision considering ICE car sales in Japan aren't going to be going up ...

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Honda's great attitude was also reflected by their efforts with the Hydrogen Fuel Cell car. They should be commended for continuing to work towards a cleaner future and not just worrying about the present.

Hydrogen cars are a mirage - just a political ploy by all automakers to beat the California zero emission mandate.

 

Hydrogen car is 3 times less efficient than a battery electric car and a LOT more expensive. Besides, a completely new fueling infrastructure needs to be built from scratch (which they are asking governments to do). A hydrogen station costs millions - and a fast battery charger costs less than $50K.

 

Honda needs to jump on the battery badwagon soon or they will be history.

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@Nataraj What I was trying to emphasize was Honda's attitude and the fact that they made some progress in  developing a new power resource. More than what most other companies.

 

Ofcourse the infrastructure costs would be great but then again it is possibly the cleanest fuel source ever. Although I agree it would be a very long process and potentially still has quite a few kinks to work at. Still feasible sometime in future I think.

 

Simple electric cars are impractical and not very efficient. The only feasible solution as mentioned by everyone above is a hybrid.

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@Sethi Saab - what I wrote above is true. All auto majors said they won't do electric cars but will do "hydrogen" to dilute California zero emission. You can see "Who killed the elctric car" for the gory details. Ofcourse from India you may not appreciate the politics here ...

 

More over electric cars are neither impractical and also not "not very efficient". They are the most efficient. Simple thermodynamics, dictates that. Let me just link to an article on the analysis by the foremost hydrogen fuel cell expert Professor Ulf Bossel ...

 

 

 

Infact, hydrogen cars have now become butt of jokes - only some industry lobbyists try to push it.

 

Here is a long forum thread on that ...

 

 

Back on topic, as I expected, Honda is going to announce that they will market pug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

 

 

Honda Motor Co. will announce Tuesday that it is working on a hybrid car that can be recharged at home and an all-electric car, both for release in about three years, The Nikkei subscription newspaper learned today.

 

I expect a solemn and dignified burial (after removing expensive platinum) for their FCX Clarity hydrogen cars that are leased in "high single digits" once their lease is up.

 

"Nobody beats thermodynamics"

 

hydrogenefficiency.png

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Ok. Just went through the posts. I dont understand the whole technical aspect of it all but I do understand that according to the experts Fuel Cell is not a very efficient source of energy. Specifically because a lot of energy is wasted in isolating Hydrogen from Hydro-carbons. Also electricity as a fuel source is much more efficient.

 

But I still think Honda's efforts in atleast trying to build something like that should be appreciated.

 

Regarding the fuel source of the auto industry in the future, I agree that Hybrids make much more sense considering how the pressure on developing the infrastructure would be less when compared to just an electric car.

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There are quite a few old threads on Hybrids, Hydrogen vehicles etc. in this forum.

I think the Hybrid thread has a long article on Alcohol fuel cell buses running in Reykjavik. This was picked up and reposted by me.

sgiitk2010-07-20 06:46:56

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Despite the shift towards electric and hybrid vehicles, the firm still intends to further develop petrol and diesel engines.

It is also developing a new smaller diesel engine to sit below its

current 2.2-litre unit and this will be launched in Europe in 2012.

Source: www.Autocar.co.uk

mustang2010-07-20 14:47:02

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Important thing to note about today's announcement from Honda is that - now every major auto manufacturer has announced plans to bring electric vehicles to market in the next 2 to 3 years.

 

It is truly amazing - if you think  about the fact that in the first of the decade they worked hard to kill electric cars. What a difference $147 a barrel oil price makes - not to speak of change in gaurd at the white house.

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I think its not that big a deal. Diesel prices are bound to go up at a higher percentage than diesel. I expect the benefits to even out in 2 years. Also additional excise duty on cars would mean diesel becomes less and less attractive.

With Honda's inability to price it cars aggressively, its diesel would have hardly sold considering the high price they would have come at. I imagine a City might have started at 10.5 lakhs atleast.

One thing that all the manufacturers have made clear, that the future lies in either CNG or Hybrid.

Also note that despite being majorly with petrol engines Honda are no. 4 in the World, where in majority of regions diesel price is not subsidised.

I think Honda sales may drop for an year or so, but then it will be sought after espescially considering how brilliantly fuel efficient there engines are.

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Oh thank god! I thought I was alone in thinking it wont be that big of an issue.smiley36.gif

Considering the segments Honda is playing in, in India, it wont be that big of an issue. Also it should be noted that besides the Swift and Ritz, Suzuki has a all petrol lineup and it still manages a great amount of sales. It might not make a huge difference as the diesel prices go up which as we all know is inevitable.

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Diesel development doesn't come cheap. Honda started earnestly after 2000 onwards and came up with i-CTDI and other clean diesel drivetrains which sold well in europe. Even today Honda's diesel accords outsell the petrol ones especially in Scandanavian countries etc. This has more to do with Honda's attitude. Direct injection petrol was given up by Honda in 2002 due to the limitations of the DI technology back then, but now it's different. Hope Honda is not digging its own grave by simply relying on VTEC and petrol engines. Hybrids or not, diesel is here to stay.

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I am not sure who has dropped what. The picture is totally unclear. for the past 25+ years, hydrogen economy is 'round the corner'. It may be so for another fifty.

No IC engine is as efficient as even a reasonable fuel cell, let alone a good one. So the near future, or at least the first stage to a hydrogen economy, appears to be Alcohol Fuel cell powered vehicles.

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