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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid & Plug-In Hybrid: Photos, Details

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Honda was the second carmaker in the world to launch a line of hybrid vehicles, though its compact and subcompact mild hybrids have long been overshadowed by Toyota's dominant Prius models.

That may be about to change.

Early next year, a new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid--and equally significant, a 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid--will put Honda squarely into the crucial and competitive segment of mid-size hybrid sedans.

The new pair of Accord Hybrids, one without a plug and one with, will face off against the Prius Liftback (which has its own plug-in model) and the upcoming 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid.

The 2014 Accord Hybrid, the higher-volume of the two, will also compete with the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Kia Optima Hybrid, and other hybrid entries to come.

2014 HONDA ACCORD PLUG-IN HYBRID: DRIVING IMPRESSIONS -- coming next week!

While Honda offered an Accord Hybrid from 2004 to 2007, that model used a more powerful version of the company's Integrated Motor Assist mild-hybrid system. It didn't offer all-electric running, but just assisted the engine--and it was tuned for power, not fuel efficiency.

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

Enlarge Photo

Seven years later, Honda has come back with its first full hybrid system, echoing Toyota and Ford in using two motors rather than the single-motor hybrid design employed by Hyundai, Volkswagen, and others.

New 2-motor design

Honda has taken a different approach, however, designing an exceptionally compact system with only a single clutch between the pair of motor-generators.

The first motor, which serves as a generator to charge the battery, is fixed to the back of a 137-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that runs on the ultra-efficient Atkinson Cycle.

The second motor, which can power the vehicle on electricity alone, is fixed to the differential that turns the front wheels. It also acts as a generator to recharge the battery under regenerative braking.

More operating modes than Prius

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

Enlarge Photo

Honda notes that its system can run three ways: in all-electric mode, as a series hybrid with the engine turning the first generator to produce electricity that powers the second motor (with the clutch between them opened), or as a parallel hybrid with engine and motor together contributing torque (with the clutch engaged).

With its smaller motor-generators, the Toyota Prius Plug-In does not offer the series-hybrid mode. Honda points out that the plug-in Accord Hybrid is set to select among these powertrain options autonomously, so they are not user-selectable "modes".

The gasoline engine is completely beltless, with the water pump, power steering, air-conditioning compressor, and friction-brake servo all powered electrically.

Total output of the engine and motor-generators combined is 196 hp and 226 lb-ft of torque. Maximum electric-motor output is 124 kilowatts (166 hp).

As for range, Honda says the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid will do 10 to 15 miles under electric power--and that it does not switch on its engine under conditions where the Prius Plug-In Hybrid must do so to maintain power.

$3,750 credit, HOV access

The lithium-ion battery pack, with a substantial 6.7 kilowatt-hours (against the 4.2 kWh of the Prius Plug-In), is mounted vertically at the front of the trunk against the rear seat back.

That capacity qualifies buyers of the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid for a $3,750 Federal income-tax credit.

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

Enlarge Photo

And the plug-in hybrid Accord will meet California's strict e-AT-PZEV emissions standards, qualifying it for the highly valued green sticker giving the car access to High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes with just a single occupant.

The Accord Plug-In has a "HV" (hybrid vehicle) switch that lets drivers opt to operate only as a hybrid, preserving the battery charge for later use where zero-emission operation may be desired (late at night or in European central cities that prohibit gasoline vehicles).

It is also fitted with a 6.6-kilowatt built-in charger, meaning that its battery can recharge twice as fast as those of the Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, and Nissan Leaf.

The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid will be rolled out to select dealers in certain regions starting early in 2013. The non-plug-in 2014 Accord Hybrid will follow within a few months, and will be rolled out nationally. Both vehicles will be built in Sayama, Japan.


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Comments (16)
  1. I'd buy the plug in version for sure. Any word on pricing?
     
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  2. No pricing announced on the plug-in model, but prices are out for the conventional 2013 Honda Accord gasoline models. Expect plug-in pricing closer to the on-sale date. Honda may also be waiting to see how Ford prices in the C-Max Energi and the (more directly competitive) Fusion Energi models.
     
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  3. Ford hasn't announced pricing for the Fusion Endrgi PHEV, but the C-Max Energi looks to be $4,750 over the Hybrid comparably equipped. That's before the $3,750 tax credit. However, Ford is offering a $1,000 rebate on the C-Max Hybrid, but not the Energi, so it looks like the net bottom line difference is around $2,000.
     
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  4. $39,995 keep in mind you only get 13 miles without using gas.
     
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  5. Very nice Honda. I was a little suprised to see that these Accords will be manufactured in Japan for sale in the U.S. With the high Yen, I would've thought it would behoove Honda to make these in Marysville, OH. Nicely done though and looking forward to reading the driving impressions. Any rumors/speculations on cost?
     
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  6. @John: The bulk of the conventional Accords will be sourced from North America, though Honda did say that a handful might come from Sayama (presumably as the company ramps up the new model).

    But Honda historically has built all its hybrids in Japan. Only this year did it start assembling mild hybrids (the Acura ILX Hybrid, to be followed by the Civic Hybrid it's based on) in Ohio ... 12 years after first launching a mild hybrid.

    So I'd expect the two-motor hybrids to be built in Japan for a while yet. The gasoline models are still the bread-and-butter for the Accord line and will be for quite a while.
     
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  7. I am excited. Except for the fact that it is more a PIP type of "plugin" instead of Volt like EREVs...

    Now, the BEV owners will "hate" this even more... Another model of PHEV to "hog" the public charging stations...
     
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  8. I imagine the battery will be air cooled since it is fairly small. Wtih AT-PZEV, I assume the battery will have to be warrantied for at least 10yr/150k miles...

    I am surprised that engine will come on under "certain" conditions like the PIP when its electric motor are MORE THAN powerful enough to power the car in pure EV mode...

    What type of battery is the 6.7KWh?
     
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  9. @Xiaolong: Yes, the pack is air-cooled. Honda didn't specifically discuss battery warranty (and I forgot to ask) but I suspect your assumption is right.

    Re/power, remember this is a fairly heavy mid-size sedan with the added weight of a battery pack and the hybrid system. I suspect Honda feels the performance is pure series hybrid mode would not have been sufficient for safe passing or the like at highway speeds.

    The cells in the Li-ion pack are made by Blue Energy, the Honda-GS Yuasa joint venture.
     
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  10. Thanks for the info on the battery. But I am still surpised that Electric motor output is NOT enough. The Volt is porky 3,700lbs and it has 149 HP eletric motor. A standard Accord with I-4 is about 3200lbs. Using Pip's weight increase (150lbs), Accord Plugin should be about 350lbs heavier in battery, plus another 2 e-motors for another 450lbs. You are talking about 800lbs extra weight. At even 4,000 lbs, 166HP provides a better weight to power ratio than the Volt (24.1 lbs/hp vs. 24.8lbs/hp). Prius V is 3274lbs/134hp, 24.4lb/hp.

    Unless it is trying to beat Camry hybrid ratio at 200HP for 3190 lbs...

    I know that Accord is always aimed at "sporty" driving. But it has to be 4110lbs before the 24.8lb/hp ratio...
     
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  11. Or maybe Honda allows the "battery" drain pretty low and the generator doesn't have enough output to keep the electric motor at max power...

    I guess we would have to see.

    Please let us know once you get a chance to drive it.
     
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  12. I like the styling, even if it is conservative. I was expecting more with the overall restyling. With the new engine and new transmission, a bump of 2 mpg is not very impressive. Maybe Honda is just conservative on the EPA rating?
     
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  13. Charles,

    Your math is off.

    23/34 for a combined 27 for 2012 four cyl Accord.

    27/36 for a likely combined mpg of 30 or 31. That's more then 2mpg improvement.

    Really impressive is the 4mpg improvement in the hwy mpg for the v6. It now gets the same hwy mpg as last year's 4 cyl accord...that's amazing and best in class by at least 3mpg.
     
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  14. Wonder what the hybrid mpg will be? If it's 47 like the Fusion, I can see this being a game changer for the Prius as well.
     
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  15. Can you drive the plug-in Accord in EV mode at any speed or incline? Or is it like the plug-in Prius?

    MrEnergyCzar
     
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  16. It is "unclear" but it is certainly capable with the powerful E-motor.

    "Honda points out that the plug-in Accord Hybrid is set to select among these powertrain options autonomously, so they are not user-selectable "modes"."

    "As for range, Honda says the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid will do 10 to 15 miles under electric power--and that it does not switch on its engine under conditions where the Prius Plug-In Hybrid must do so to maintain power."
     
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