In recent times, Honda’s range of plug-in vehicles has been largely underwhelming, but with the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In, that looks set to change. The reason is that in past years, Honda has elected to stick with their less powerful IMA Hybrid system, which made the driving ranges of their plug-ins mediocre, and as a result fell behind better hybrid systems such as the HSD from Toyota.
The introduction of the 2014 Accord Plug-in suggests that the IMA era is almost at an end, since this hybrid sports a new two-motor system that the EPA has rated at an equivalent of 115 MPG. Apart from topping the charts with that score, the vehicle also becomes the first to qualify for the rigorous California SULEV20 standard.
The two-motor system, the Honda Earth DreamsTM technology, has a very potent 124 kW electric motor which is like a combination of a 2.0 liter, fuel efficient, Atkinson cycle, four-cylinder i-VTEC engine with a continuously variable transmission. Supporting electric-only use is a lithium-ion battery of 6.7 kWh capacity also backed by a new braking system, the electric servo, which promises further efficiency.
Even better news for Honda fans in California and New York is that the plug-in hybrid has been on sale in Honda dealerships in the two states since January 15. The price is quoted as $39,780 (including destination charge) or $429 per month for lease. A release date throughout the country is still yet to be determined, but that should not be that far off.