Honda has no plans to follow rivals down the lithium-ion hybrid road

While Toyota and GM are putting all their hopes in lithium-ion battery powered hybrids starting as early as next year, Honda will be staying away from the technology for now.

Honda’s CEO, Takeo Fukui says that lithium-ion batteries are still to unreliable for mass production. “Lithium ion batteries are still not usable from our perspective,” Fukui told Automotive News in an interview. “In terms of reliability and durability, I must say there still remain some concerns. I don’t think they are necessarily best suited for mass-produced vehicles.”

Next year Honda will debut its dedicated hybrid which runs on standard nickel-metal hydride power packs. Honda is hoping to reach an ambitious target of 400,000s hybrid in annual sales within the next five years. The Japanese automaker upcoming three hybrid models, including the next-generation Civic Hybrid, are expected to account for 10 percent of Honda”s total sales (compared to only 1.5 percent today).

Toyota and GM plan to have their lithium-ion powered plug-in hybrids on the market by 2010.


Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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