Honda Long Skeptical on Battery EVs Does an AboutFace CBS News

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Honda, Long Skeptical on EVs, Does an About-Face

Updated Nov 9, 2010 6:59 PM EST

(HMC), whose global is looking robust despite the yen. is taking the plunge electric cars for the U.S. Honda has been one of the last against battery cars, to field hybrids and, for the term, fuel-cell electrics.

happened, obviously, is a worldwide of EVs that threatens to leave behind. There are very few today without a plug-in But Honda is in a very good even if it is late to the EV market.

The has a long history of delivering eerily flawless fuel-sipping to American consumers, so it has a considerable of goodwill to bank on as it fields an EV. it has dealers and an advertising budget should move some

Former Honda CEO Takeo was a skeptic about battery but successor Takanobu Ito . who took in 2009, is bullish. He told It’s starting to look there will be a market for vehicles.

We can’t keep down their potential, and we say there’s no business case for it.

Ito offered what has become a among companies with EVs: Despite the fear of anxiety, not everybody needs 300 between plug ins or fill-ups. And Honda is showing both a hybrid and a battery-only electric car in Los Angeles next week, he to have taken a stand on the Plug-in hybrids are essentially for who drive short distances, but it has the of having an engine, a motor and a of batteries, he said.

Why wouldn’t you just drive a EV?

Honda says it will both a battery car and a plug-in for the U.S. market in 2012. I that it will follow lead and adapt the Civic to plug-in status. Further, coalescing around the lithium-ion technology basic to EVs, and use li-ion in the next generation Civic Hybrid, also for release in 2011 as a 2012 Honda’s has a joint-venture partnership GS Yuasa in the li-ion company Energy .

It’s late 2010, so will have to play with the rest of the industry, but doing exactly that. to Honda U.S. spokesman Naughton . the company will its first EVs to the U.S. late year for demonstration programs at University . Google and the City of California. Torrance will get a hybrid for evaluation by the end of 2010, is really quick for a car nobody’s seen (but will see in Los next week).

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This is consistent with our of the last few decades, considering the range of powertrains, Naughton We have the natural gas Civic, in Europe, and the FCX Clarity hydrogen as well as an EV history with the U.S. hybrid in the 1999 Insight and the [EV-1 competitor] EVPlus [pictured at top’].

pointed out that the FCX Clarity, one of the sophisticated fuel-cell vehicles 300-mile range, is actually an car with hydrogen replacing a pack. We’re building an knowledge base of running with electricity, whether cell and doing it in a way that is and seamless to the driver.

And that, of course, speaks to natural advantage in the EV space, as a latecomer with no history of cars. I’d buy a Honda hybrid, wouldn’t you? all, I already own a Honda and would love to get my hands on the version that the company is out everywhere but North America .

is also in a strong position to EV programs, having reported a $2 global profit in the third (up 150 percent from the year U.S. sales were because of the strong yen, but is very strong. On balance, the recently lowered its projections for sales this year by to 3.6 million cars.

The cuts are in Europe and North Asian forecasts are up.

© 2010 CBS Inc. All Rights Reserved.

BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars
BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars
BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars


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