“This underscores the gap in the level of technology at these automakers. That said, while Toyota has the lead, there really isn’t anyone else who is as advanced as Toyota in this field and Honda appears to be close.”
That’s because Honda’s been working on batteries all along. It was the first automaker to use something other than lead-acid batteries when it introduced the EV Plus in 1997.
Honda, realizing this electric car thing isn’t a fad, says it will have a plug-in hybrid and a battery electric vehicle on the road in 2012. But that doesn’t mean it’s giving up on hydrogen.
No one’s offering any specifics about the car, but Honda says the EV will be a small “commuter car,” which makes us hopeful we’ll see the retro-adorable EV-N concept in showrooms good for 60 kilometers on a liter of gas, which is 141 mpg by our math.
The announcement comes as much of the industry promises to have electric vehicles in showrooms by 2014 and California pushes automakers to embrace the technology.
Although the first-gen Honda Insight was the first hybrid available in the United States when it arrived in December, 1999, Honda has lagged behind Toyota in the market. These days the Prius outsells the Civic Hybrid six to one. Honda also has been lukewarm about battery electrics, opting to focus on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles like the impressive FCX Clarity.