There are now 100 Honda Civic Hybrids in Malaysia brought in officially by Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Since Honda claims that each Civic Hybrid on the road potentially reduces their owner’s carbon footprint by 1 tonne a year compared to if they were to drive a regular car, these 100 owners have reduced by footprint by 100 tonnes a year collectively! Honda targets to have this number increased to 200 by end-2009.
The 100th owner is Michelle Lu, but she admits that the idea was actually her engineer husband’s. “When we first got the Civic Hybrid, our friends asked us why, because like myself, they too have the perception that it is a low capacity car with only a 1.3 litre engine and has no power. My perception has definitely changed now. It drives like a 1.8L vehicle and it is so much smoother and quieter,” said Lu.
When the Civic Hybrid was first introduced it was pretty pricey but with the government tax exemption (that’s sadly only valid for 2 years, I believe 1 year is gone now), the price has been brought down to RM129,980, which is about the same price as a 2.0 litre. But Malaysians are not exactly taking it up in the droves.
Before this we can say it’s too expensive, but what’s stopping us now? Lack of power compared to the 2.0 model? Uncertainties on how long the battery will last and how much servicing the car will be? I believe its more of the latter.