Honda Cancels Plug-in Accord, But Plans New EV

By · June 18, 2015

2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid

Honda will no longer make the Accord Plug-in Hybrid.

Honda announced on Monday that it would no longer offer the plug-in version of its Accord mid-size sedan. The plug-in model was never a big-seller, averaging about 40 units per month for 2013 and 2014—before sales plummeted to five sales per month since March. At around $40,000, the Accord Plug-in Hybrid was more expensive than competitors. In addition, it was only available in California and New York.

The focus of the company’s fuel efficiency strategy will turn to its two-motor hybrid system for the time being, according to John Mendel, executive vice-president of American Honda’s auto division. He said the new strategy would help the company “meet the needs and expectations of customers for hybrids and achieve greater reduction of CO2 emissions.” Mendel also explained that the gas versions of Honda’s high-volume passenger vehicles, such as Fit, Civic and Accord, have class-leading fuel economy.

Honda introduced the first hybrid, the teardrop-shaped first-generation Insight coupe, to the U.S. market in 1999. But since then, the company has continually faltered with its green cars, by getting locked into a one-motor hybrid-assist technology, by focusing an earlier Accord Hybrid on performance rather than efficiency, and by releasing a substandard second-generation Insight that failed in the goal of competing with the Toyota Prius. Similarly, the company arguably had a lead in hydrogen fuel cell cars with its early Clarity model, but only put a handful of those cars on the street. In February 2014, Honda canceled its marginal Fit EV, after reaching a modest production quota of 1,100 units.

On Monday, Honda announced that it would also discontinue the conventional hybrid and natural gas variants of the Honda Civic. Yet, Mendel championed the Accord (no-plug) Hybrid as the most fuel-efficient five-passenger sedan, and promised that a new model would further enhance the car’s two-motor hybrid system.

While the company has failed to gain solid footing with its electric and hybrid car plans, it’s not giving up. Mendel said that Honda is developing “an entirely new generation of vehicles,” starting with the introduction of a next-generation fuel cell car in 2016, followed by an all-new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid model. Further details about new plug-ins were not provided, although Mendel mentioned that they would be purpose-built, rather than electric versions of existing models.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.