Honda Motor Co., Ltd., President and CEO Takeo Fukui announced on Jan. 5 plans to advance the company’s development and application of environmental technologies with the following actions: * Introduction in 2004 of a V-6 powered gas-electric hybrid Accord using Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system in combination with variable cylinder management (VCM) technology for V-6 performance with fuel economy equivalent to a four-cylinder Civic; * Introduction in 2005 of a Honda-developed fuel cell stack with increased performance and fuel efficiency, reduced cost and the ability to start in below freezing temperatures; * Application of Honda Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology to another new model to be introduced this fall. Slated for introduction later this year as a 2004-model, the mid-size Accord Hybrid delivers higher performance than the 240-horsepower Accord V-6 sedan with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder, compact-class Civic. Furthering Honda’s efforts to make hydrogen power a reality, the company has developed its own fuel cell stack and will introduce a version of its FCX fuel cell vehicle powered by the Honda FC Stack beginning in calendar-year 2005. This new fuel cell stack is designed to operate at temperatures as low as -20ºC (-4ºF). Cold weather starting and operation is one of the most significant technical barriers to the mass-market application of fuel cell technology. Honda’s FC stack is the first fuel cell stack to feature a stamped metal separator structure combined with electrolyte membranes for improved efficiency, recycleability, and operation over a greater range of temperatures. Honda is conducting extensive trials of the FC Stack, including public road evaluations in the U.S. and Japan, in preparation for its introduction next year in the Honda FCX.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials