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Old 10-15-2016, 05:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why is 2nd generation less efficient?

Having a 2010 Insight, i just learned that the original insight was more economical???

Why is the original one more economic and any idea if Honda will bring back electric or hybrid to North America anytime soon?
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The original Insight was designed for maximum efficiency and likely sold for less than it cost to build. Fewer than 20,000 were sold worldwide, so it probably didn't cost Honda very much to get real-world experience with its first hybrid.

It is extremely light at ~1,900 lb. This is due to an expensive aluminum unibody with aluminum and thermoplastic exterior panels and its very small 2-passenger size. Aluminum was used extensively throughout (e.g., aluminum front suspension arms, aluminum rear brake drums, aluminum front brake calipers).

It is very aerodynamic with a Cd of only 0.25. This is possible in part because of a very smooth underside and rear fender skirts.

The small, very light, 1 liter, 3-cylinder engine has an offset crankshaft to reduce piston friction. It has roller bearing cam followers to reduce friction. Manual transmission versions have an engine that can run at very lean air:fuel ratios (24:1 compared with the usual 15:1). The engine has a very high compression ratio for more efficient combustion.

It was sold with very low rolling resistance tires.

So Honda engineers used almost every trick in the book to design the most fuel-efficient car ever sold in the U.S. This would have been too expensive for a larger mass-market car like the second generation Insight.

Unfortunately, Honda doesn't seem to have much interest in producing a battery EV. Instead, hydrogen fuel cell EV's seem to be Honda's and Japan's primary focus. No Japanese car manufacture sells a battery EV at this time.

Edit: Ignore the final sentence which is false - Nissan Leaf, of course, and our first EV, a Mitsubishi i-MiEV! Doh!
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks aisble for the awesome info.

Wow, had no idea there was such a difference between the 1st and 2nd generation insights.

Hope Honda will bring their Hydrogen Clarity model to market soon.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just to add, Nissan do sell a battery EV - the Leaf. Is it not available in the USA?
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uriel View Post
Just to add, Nissan do sell a battery EV - the Leaf. Is it not available in the USA?
Of course! How embarrassing! The Leaf was a pioneer EV in the U.S. and, of course, is still being sold here. My brother owns one and I rejected the Leaf when we purchased our first EV, a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, also a Japanese EV and still sold in the U.S. Senior brain freeze

The large Japanese car manufacturers, Honda and Toyota, don't seem interested in selling a battery EV. Fuel cell EV's like the Honda Clarity and Toyota Mirai are much less energy efficient than a battery EV. Refueling them is possible only in a few locations. Hydrogen and the hydrogen generators are very expensive. Almost all hydrogen is made by reforming natural gas which releases CO2, so hydrogen made this way doesn't help with climate change. About the only advantage of a fuel cell EV over a battery EV that I can think of is faster refueling, but battery EV charging speed is increasing, so this advantage may become less important.
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Last edited by aisbell; 10-18-2016 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aisbell View Post
Unfortunately, Honda doesn't seem to have much interest in producing a battery EV. Instead, hydrogen fuel cell EV's seem to be Honda's and Japan's primary focus.[/COLOR]
The Clarity will be available in hydrogen, plugin hybrid, and BEV versions.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/...plug-in-hybrid
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwichse View Post
The Clarity will be available in hydrogen, plugin hybrid, and BEV versions.

2018 Honda Clarity electric versions: first details, including 40-plus-mile range for plug-in hybrid
We have all those EV cars here in California including the rare Fit EV's. Even saw my first Hydrogen car (Mirai) even though there are not H-Station near by and I thought CNG stations were a pain.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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hope we will get such cars in Canada soon.
Not too many electric cars on the road here in Montreal, although government does subsidize about $8000 CAN off cost of car. Probably the lower Canadian dollar value compared to 2 years ago affected the buying power..

I drove the Leaf when it first came out but did not like it.

Also looking forward to more news and info on the upcoming Tesla 3.
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i would think that more northern latitudes also take a hit in efficiency, longevity, range due to the lower temps and the effect on the battery pack, use of heater, etc.
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah. in winter here, specially Jan and Feb when temp is coldest around -20 to -40 celsius, the insight does not do that good of mileage and takes at least a good 4 to 5 mins of warmup to run properly. And with the heater on all the time in car, the car does not cut off gas during stops at lights or in traffic.
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