October 13, 2008

Honda Civic Hybrid

Honda Civic Hybrid

Hybrid technology has come a long way since Toyota released the Prius. Sales substantially picked up in the market prompting other automobile companies to make their own hybrids. Following in the footsteps of Toyota in 1997 Honda made its own hybrid. The Honda Insight was a moderate success. Although it was a fuel efficient car it had different technology under the hood. The hybrid technology was new at that time and the public perceived the Insight to look to odd to be driven around the city.

Honda then turned to one of its famous compact sedans. The Honda Civic was released in a hybrid version in 2003. The design was pretty much the same with the conventional Honda Civic incorporated with Honda's own hybrid technology.

Honda Civic Hybrid

The first generation Honda Civic hybrid came out in 2003. It operates with a different hybrid technology compared to the Toyota Prius which is the basic template for all hybrids. Instead of the hybrid synergy system, the Honda Civic hybrid uses an Integrated Motor Assist system that was also used in the Insight.

The first generation was produced from 2003 to 2005. It has a 1.3 liter lean burn internal combustion engine with Honda's VTEC cylinder cut-off system. This allows 3 cylinders to stop operating while decelerating which reduces friction losses. This in turn creates a more effective way of regenerating energy. It has a 15 kW permanent magnet motor which also serves a generator for recharging the batteries. It also has a 120 V nickel metal hydride battery, 5 speed manual transmission, regenerative braking, electric power steering, and low rolling resistance tires.

The second generation was also equipped with the same thing with a few changes. A high profile camshaft was added, fourth generation Integrated Motor Assist and third stage VTEC and Variable Cylinder.

Management replaced the previous ones. It has a satellite-linked navigation system and an audio system that supports mp3 and WMA. It also comes in with an average fuel consumption regulator. An idle stop feature automatically shuts off the engine in idle periods.

The second generation was also an improvement from the first one which used lean burn engine.

Honda has stopped producing Civic hybrids to replace them with smaller and affordable types to compete with Toyota. Nonetheless previous the second generation proved to be a worthy competitor to the Prius. Although they may differ in terms of technology, fuel efficiency was still attained.

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