California Autos Examiner

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Honda: We Can Meet 35 MPG Average

The head of Honda's USA Operations told reporters on Wednesday day that meeting the proposed 35 MPG fleet fuel economy average would be a very difficult target, but that Honda was "quite sure" they could meet the requirement.  The key will be a new generation of gas-electric hybrid engines placed in small cars, but I would imagine that diesel engines in larger vehicles will also help raise Honda's average.

Honda has always stuck to its guns with regards to fuel efficiency.  For example, Honda has never placed a V8 in its production cars, maintaining that a V6 can offer up enough performance.  While certainly laudable from an efficiency standpoint, the lack of a V8 has probably caused a few Acura dealers to grumble.  Certainly Honda hasn't received all the green coverage that Toyota has with its hybrids, but then again who has?  Toyota has played its hybrid hand beautifully.  

No matter, achieving the 35MPG will take some doing.  The current generation, manual transmission Fit sold in the USA gets 31 mpg in government tests for combined city and highway driving -- not good enough to satisfy the proposed 35 mpg standard.  The Civic hybrid, on the other hand, does exceed the standard with a 42MPG average.

For now the 35 MPG fleet average is "just a bill on Capitol Hill" but an increase of some sort is an inevitability at this point.

source: wsj

No comments: