2011 Honda CR-ZEnlarge Photo
It's been a time of turmoil for Honda lately, with the company doubling down on hybrids and pulling back on its clean-diesel efforts.
Now, according to a Reuters report, the company will introduce both a plug-in hybrid and a fully electric car for the 2013 model year. The electric car will be offered in the U.S. market first, to compete against such upcoming entries as the 2011 Nissan Leaf.
By 2013, the company plans to have no fewer than five hybrids for sale. It now offers the 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid sedan and the Insight dedicated hybrid hatchback. Its 2011 CR-Z hybrid two-seat sports car arrives this summer.
The fourth model is expected to be a hybrid version of the Fit subcompact, but no details have come to light yet on the fifth and final hybrid.
Honda is also considering manufacturing the Insight in one of its U.S. plants, most likely to reduce costs so it can lower the price below its current $20,400 level.
It may make two other hybrids in the U.S. too, one of them most probably the Civic Hybrid, since Civics are already built in North America.
Honda's proposed plug-in would compete against a plug-in model of the Toyota Prius hybrid. That vehicle, currently known by the cumbersome name of 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, will hit dealers in very early 2012. Honda's plug-in would trail it by roughly a year.
Tomorrow, Honda's president Takanobu Ito will hold a news conference to provide some details of the new models and the results of its sweeping reshuffle of its portfolio, according to Japanese business daily Nikkei.