Friday, July 18, 2008
Shoppers Guide to Green Cars: 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid
As governments force car manufactures to shift to alternate energy, carmakers in the wake of climate change are developing newer technology to solve this problem. We know already most car manufactures have already launched green cars such technologies involving hybrid engines where the engine is run by both electric and petrol engine. Then you have the single electric engine, hydrogen fuel cell and finally the engines that are run on bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-ethanol and so on.
Honda has been researching a lot with green technology as to fusing the technology with current car designs and specifications. Not only has Honda been doing the same thing other car manufactures such as Toyota, General Motors, Ford have been doing the same thing. So in the next few posts I will be discussing about the car industry, about new green cars and the new technology coming in the market.
Honda’s new green car the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid Sedan has the style and beauty which other green cars today lacks. The sedan has been fitted with innovative technology that should have been installed long time ago. Let me get first get started with the engine specs.
The engine is a 1.3 liter 8-valve, SOHC i-VTEC 4- cylinder which produces 110 hp. Since it a hybrid engine it also has an electric motor which provides 20 hp power when required specially with its new system called the Idle Stop Feature. This feature is activated when say for instance you brake and wait in traffic, the engine automatically switches itself off. The moment you press the accelerator, the engine starts again with the assistance of this electric motor and you start moving normally. What this feature does it that it saves the amount of fuel being burnt during traffic resulting in lesser emissions caused by the car. Another feature is the continuous variable transmission (CVT). This controls the gear ratio to vary such that the engine does not shift too early or too late so that it improves fuel efficiency and controls emission. Honda claims that this car has an EPA rating of 40/45 mpg in city/highway, although with many conditions applied.
The environmental features of this car are the electric motor, idle-stop feature then there is the CVT after that is the Drive by wire Throttle System then the Integrated Motor Assist. The car is also equipped with quite a lot of safety features. Like modern cars the usual set-up like air bags, 3 point seat-belts are present other than that the Honda Civic Hybrid has anti-locking braking system with electronic brake distribution, daytime running lights and many more but for me which I think is new to me is the tire pressure monitoring system. It sounds cool! This type of system is heard of in a Mer or a Beemer.
I have driven the 2006 Japanese Honda Civic version run on gasoline and trust me those who drive cars and enjoy driving, Honda has really made a good car. The Honda Civic which I drove had a perfect ride height, comfortable, very responsive when it comes to accelerating and turning. The car is a front-wheel drive and for a FWD the handling is good. The interior is simple and not too fancy but nice. The digital speedometer is awesome, compared to other cars I have seen such as the Nissan X-trail, and Toyota Vista (I don’t know the name of the US version or Japanese version but that’s the name sold in Bangladesh). Although nothing beats the analogue speedometer.
The Honda Civic Hybrid costs about US$22600(the starting price). Those of you who are looking forward in buying a green car this maybe an option. I will be posting more about green cars in the near future and hope I can provide a larger list of cars.
If you want to know more about this car please visit Honda's hybrid cars.