Honda may build the new Accord PHEV in the United States

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 8, 2012

When the U.S.-produced 2013 Honda Accord makes its debut, it may be available with I-4 and V-6 powertrains. However, the plug-in sedan variant is just one model year away. It’s likely that the 2014 Accord PHEV will be assembled in Japan and in small quantities. According to a new report, the Honda may start production of the advanced four-door in the U.S. as early as calendar-year 2015.

Unfortunately, profits can’t be possible with the current yen-to-dollar exchange rate. This is why Honda will continue to import Japanese-assembled Accord PHEVs to the U.S. This won’t be Honda’s first time to offer an Accord hybrid. An Accord V-6 Hybrid was available from 2004 to 2008 but it was discontinued because the premium-priced car concentrated more on performance than fuel economy.

Honda said that selling a hybrid version of a car beside a regular gas-only model can be more difficult than when offering a hybrid-only vehicle such as the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius since there is no non-hybrid variant of the same car that makes it hard for consumers to justify the additional cost.

In the 2013 Accord First Drive, Honda wrote that the plug-in variant is capable of blended brakes’ handoff between regenerative and friction braking as a stop is approached. Honda said that automakers find it very difficult to accomplish but that it has achieved it.

Honda said that the Accord PHEV is very slow in starting off the line but it can accelerate quite quickly at highway speeds. Several PHEVs that are already in the market or are slated to arrive in dealerships very soon include the Toyota Prius Plug-in, Chevrolet Volt, and Ford Fusion Energi. The Volt and C-Max have their final assembly in Michigan while the Prius Plug-in is Japan-made.

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