With fuel prices and concerns from the environment reaching a peak, many motorists are looking for ways to enjoy cheaper, less damaging forms of transport. While cycling, walking and public transport are all very honourable solutions to this problem, for many busy commuters and families, these options are just not practical. Thankfully, Honda seem to have come up with a genuinely workable alternative.
The range of hybrid cars from Honda are not only cheaper to run and kinder to the environment than most other cars on the road, they also look the business and perform like a regular car too. When you want to change but don’t want to compromise, the hybrids from Honda could be just what you’re looking for. To keep abreast of developments, follow Honda on Facebook.
What are hybrid cars?
A hybrid car is a vehicle which is neither one thing nor the other. Quite simply, it is a vehicle which uses more than one means of propulsion, and in the future it could mean cars that are part solar powered, part hydrogen – or any other combination of alternative fuels. For now, however, the term exclusively means a vehicle which is part-powered by a conventional combustion engine, and part by an electric motor.
Some manufacturers use the term ‘hybrid’ to mean other things. For example, Which? states that Smart claim a ‘mild hybrid drive’ on their FourTwo, but this is not the same thing as a true hybrid vehicle as it simply stops and restarts the engine as and when needed.
How does it work?
In Honda’s hybrid engine, a small efficient petrol engine is combined with an electric motor to add to the performance and fuel efficiency of the vehicle. The battery for the electric motor is recharged in the same way the car’s battery receives a charge as the engine does its work. This energy is used to power the electric motor, which gives a boost to the engine both in terms of performance and economy.
In short, the electric motor in the hybrid results in a car which uses less fuel but has more power than it would with the petrol engine alone.
Hondas hybrid range
Honda are the only car manufacturer to currently offer up a range of choices and styles in their comprehensive range of hybrid vehicles. Take your pick from the following:
• The CR-Z: The CR-Z claims to be the ‘world’s first sporty hybrid coupé’, and it certainly looks the part: sleek, sporty styling gives way to a precise 6-speed gearbox and a three-mode driving system to match your mood. Choose ‘economy’ for maximum fuel efficiency, ‘normal’ for, well, normal driving, and ‘sport’ to put that electric motor to good use giving you a boost when you need it.
• The Insight: The family car of the Honda range, this generously-proportioned green machine offers all the space you could wish for alongside some of the lowest CO2 emissions in its class.
• The Jazz: The Honda Jazz has been a popular small car for many years now, and sticking the hybrid technology into this city hatchback has just boosted its popularity ranking astronomically. With all the fun and function of the original Jazz plus an unbelievable 62.8 mpg, this is a supermini with an eye on the future.
• The NSX: Although not available yet, Honda have big plans to release a next-generation supercar at some point in the next three years. The NSX is planned to be super lightweight with a powerful V6 engine, outstanding handling and hybrid technology to make it the most economical supercar on the planet.