The Honda Accord Hybrid never really caught on.  Sales were low from the get go and Honda really had little choice but to cancel the vehicle.  Other Honda hybrids like the dedicated hybrid Insight and even the Civic Hybrid have fared much better, but the unloved Accord Hybrid came and went.

Honda, not known for giving up on a product, is now hard at work again developing a hybrid powertrain for larger vehicles like the Accord.  The company is developing a proprietary Integrated Motor Assist hybrid platform for use in midsize vehicles and other large vehicle applications.

This time around, Honda is utilizing two electric motors to output more power than the single motor setup in the Insight and Civic.  Additionally, Honda will replace the NiMH battery pack with a more powerful lithium-ion pack allowing the vehicle to operate under electric power only for a short period of time.

This powertrain is expected to see use in an upcoming Accord Hybrid, but that's not the whole story.  The Nikkei newspaper in Japan is reporting that Honda may put this powertrain into a hybrid minivan within the next 2 years.  A hybrid minivan would be a first for Honda, filling a gap that few automakers seem to show interest in.

Source:  Automotive News (login required)