Honda President Takeo Fukui thinks that lithium ion batteries in hybrid or electric vehicles are akin to soukon, which is Japanese for people who decide to get married too early.
Current hybrid vehicles use nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, but next generation hybrids by most car manufacturers are set to use lithium ion batteries, which are smaller, lighter and can store more electricity. The downside is that they tend to overheat and may be unsafe. Toyota’s first lithium-ion hybrid will arrive in 2010.
Honda’s new yet to be revealed dedicated hybrid vehicle – a spiritual successor to the Insight that is only available with a hybrid powertrain – will use NiMH batteries instead of lithium ion batteries. The only thing we know about the new car is that it will take some styling cues from the wedge-shaped Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car.
It will be priced below the current Civic Hybrid, and the hybrid powertrain will be a lighter and more compact redesign of the current IMA system. Honda aims for hybrids to make up for 10% of its global car sales by 2012.
Look after the jump for a recent Honda concept with a rather wedge-like shape.
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