Although the Japanese carmaker Honda has a lot of green products under its belt due to its hybrid and alternative fuel programs, it was recently reported that their new president, Takanobu Ito, has made a statement saying that they will not totally abandon the internal combustion system. In contrast to previous presidents who were all, without exception, engine men, the next president is a chassis engineer.
So, although Honda is chasing fuel cell and hybrid technologies, Ito said that they cannot improve the hybrid system without working on engines. He believes that engines still have a long way to go.
There is a ring of truth to what Ito has said, since there is still a lot of work to be done in improving the switch between gasoline and electric power.
Although this is more of a transmission and driveline issue, still the engine plays a vital part in all of these. The current hybrid system requires a sensitive balance between the gasoline engine and the electric power unit, batteries, power splitter and the remainder of the car.
This is the reason why you cannot just purchase a hybrid system and install it in the car, the engine must still be refined. Late in coming to Honda are diesel engines which are popular in Europe where the Japanese carmaker utilized Isuzu diesels for its Civic and Accord ranges.
Honda has developed its own diesel powerplant and scheduled it for release this year, but the program was shelved due to insurmountable costs.
For their larger models, like the Accord, CR-V and MDX, Honda initially intended to use clean-diesel powerplants. The diesel engine will act as a substitute for single-motor hybrid systems, although it is reported that Honda is also working on a two-motor system that can power both hybrid and large models.