• Honda to Use a Two-Motor Hybrid Drive in Its Light Truck Lineup [News]


    honda 2018 2019 gas electric hybrid model
    Honda EarthDreams Hybrid

    Honda announced an aggressive electrification strategy at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. This includes an American-made dedicated hybrid vehicle that will launch in 2018. Also, more than half of Honda vehicles launching over the next two years will be electrified.

    How does it relate to trucks? Honda said that its two-motor hybrid system will be applied to its “light truck lineup”. Honda groups the following vehicles into the “light trucks” category: HR-V, CR-V, Pilot, Odyssey, and Ridgeline. While it’s a stretch to categorize most of these as light trucks, the Ridgeline is a pickup truck, albeit a crossover pickup truck.

    One example of the two-motor gasoline/electric hybrid system can currently be found in the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid. This is based on a 4-cylinder gas engine and electric motors for a total system output of 212 horsepower. The Accord Hybrid is rated by the EPA at 49 MPG in the city.

    Honda did not provide any hints on whether it will apply the gas/electric powertrain strategy to the Ridgeline pickup truck, but this is an interesting prospect. All truck manufacturers are looking for ways to improve efficiency without losing hauling and towing capability. Could the two-motor hybrid system be a solution for the Ridgeline? 212 horsepower is not enough to move the Ridgeline and all the weight it can haul and/or tow. We will have to wait and see how this strategy develops.

    Ford recently announced plans for a gas/electric Ford F-150 by year 2020. GM is currently selling turbo-diesel versions of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon to gain efficiency. Honda has also introduced a new 10-speed automatic transmission for the 2018 Honda Odyssey. Using a 10-speed to improve efficiency is another avenue the company can pursue.

    Here are the MPG results we got while towing on our 100-mile highway MPG loop.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    29 thoughts on “Honda to Use a Two-Motor Hybrid Drive in Its Light Truck Lineup [News]

    1. Whoever gets it right is going to blow away the competition. The lobbyists for fuel don’t have the power they used to have. This could have been done 100 years ago.

    2. A hybrid Ridgeline would be welcome because you know (for the most part) Honda would get it right. Having owned a Gen 1 Ridgeline and now a Gen 2 RTL-E (with a RAM 1500 EcoDiesel in between), I’d be increased in a hybrid for improving the large amount of ‘around town’ driving I do.

    3. Hydrogen is the future. These are only wasting time until hydrogen infrastructure is developed.

      People don’t understand that internal combustion engines can run on hydrogen in the same way they already run on natural gas.
      In fact a hybrid natural gas/hydrogen vehicle could be made today. And while running on hydrgen produce only water at its exhaust just like a fuel cell.
      A hydrogen 8.2L v8 would make an ideal tow vehicle. Computer management has made this all possible.

      We need to stop with this wasting of time and get the hydrgen infrastructure built.

      1. Buddylam, correct and mostly because the current tooling and infrastructure for combustion engines is what we have invested a huge amount of the worlds’ existing natural resources into, this in effect makes it the most green by far.

      2. Unfortunatley Hydrogen is still a LONG way from being practical. The energy density is a tiny fraction of what gasoline has. The only practical way to transport it is in a pipeline, and we can’t build pipelines everywhere. Storage is another problem. You would need a huge tank to get a 400 mile range.
        And cost; hydrogen is much more expensive than gasoline is.
        Hydrogen may be the ideal solution, but it’s currently not even close to practical
        Plug-in hybrids are practical NOW. Why would we not use them? Should we have given up on computers when they took up a whole room, because someday, a cellphone will have more power? No.
        We already have the infrastructure for a plug-in vehicle. It’s not wasting time, it’s a huge improvement over a regular gas engine.

    4. Besides improving efficiency, I am actually excited for these new hybrid/diesel or electric trucks coming out just because of the prospect of new technology. I think electrified systems have a lot more potential than people realize. Let’s just hope they get the execution correct.

      1. If you dropped a lead balloon with walls as thin as a typical balloon in water with a cubic foot of air inside it, it would float. What is BOF?

    5. The ability to produce hydrogen still requires to burn natural gas and presently produce more pollution then operating a fuel efficient gas vehicle. To move to hydrogen you have to produce the product with a clean energy source

    6. ‘honda’s truck lineup’??? What trucks? Suv with a back porch? BOF= body on frame,like real trucks have.Hydrogen,it costs too much in energy to be practical,at this time.But to produce hydrogen in significant amounts to be commercially viable,even with the infrastructure in place to refuel,it would cost prohibitive right now.

    7. I still cannot say Honda and truck without chuckling but I think the point is that automakers have been allowed to be lazy over the years and have had no reason to fully innovate. It appears here in the USA that some of the upcoming fuel economy standards at least have some companies thinking outside the same old box but then again they are secretly lobbying for those same standards to be relaxed as opposed to enforced. I agree we could be so much more advanced with our engines in terms of efficiency if we truly wanted to. I agree that some techs may be cost prohibitive but we have to start somewhere.

    8. What is wrong with the gas engine? I red a report not long ago that what goes in the engine is dirter than what comes out of it. So Honda adds more stuff to it to make it more efficient with lot more complexity.not really impressed. If government didn’t offer any rebates to these hybrid and electric vehicles we wouldn’t be talking about them much.

    9. Honda uses the same definition of truck that is spelled out in the dictionary. This definition is different from what most “truck” people think is a truck. That is where the confusion lies.

      You have to remember that Honda thinks globally and utilitarian in terms of what tool is needed to accomplish a task…American truck culture is not the driving force behind their business plan.

      The Ridgeline is a product of that type of thinking. What type of utility vehicle would accomplish the needs of 90% of truck buyers for 90% of their tasks? Ridgeline.

      The issue here is that many people think they need more capability. The reality is that it is not what they need, but what they want. They want to buy the dream of having more capability, because they WANT that and can say that they HAVE that, regardless if they would ever NEED it.

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

      “Many people will refuse to use the best tool for the job because it does not fit their idea of the best tool for the job.”

      1. Longboat, you are right…lots of people might buy a heavy duty diesel pickup just to commute in, but it is what they “want” and if they have the money to buy it, they will. The Japanese still do not understand why Americans buy vehicles and that is why they release silly vehicles like the Ridgeline. Yes, that “truck” may well do everything the average pickup buyer ever needs. But when you pull up in front of Home Depot to get mulch, or pull in to watch the rodeo, or heck, even drive in to church…would you rather be seen in a puny, weak, sideways motor Honda “pickup” or a massive diesel long bed crew cab pickup? Most people buy vehicles based upon perception. Unlike other cultures, Americans always want the “best,” the “most powerful,” the “fastest,” the “most expensive,” etc. Not the vehicle that will do everything they need and use the least fuel and cost the least to buy and pollute the least, etc.
        American brands have a lock on the truck market and always will. We already saw how well the mild hybrid GM trucks did a generation ago…fail…and unfortunately for Ford, I think they will also fail. Nobody wants a pickup that runs on batteries.

    10. Hey Longboat, what you are saying is true but where I live the only people driving them are those ladies that used to drive a Subaru. I must not be in that 90% because the first time I took that thing down some of these logging roads I will be looking for one of those guys with a truck that will do more than they need. I do think you are right when you consider most casual truck owners almost freak out when they get a small scratch in their truck bed.

    11. Seems like a V8 hybrid could fulfill a lot of needs. Still provide the towing/hauling capability when needed, with the electric motor improving fuel economy when driving unloaded, in stop and go traffic, or when cruising on the highway.

    12. Well, I’m looking pretty hard at the Ridgeline. I don’t have room for a full-size truck, unless I park it outside. Where I live, the weather is tends to be miserable more often than not, so really prefer a garage-kept vehicle (those who garage their vehicles in -20F will agree). Garage-kept also retains value much longer.

      Other choices are Canyorado, Tacoma and Frontier. Tacoma refresh was a major fail, don’t like their driving position. My sister has a Colorado, and I just can’t get a liking for it (and it’s had three recalls in the last year). Frontier is a great bargain, but my wife will be driving the truck, also, and Frontier is just a little too dated.

      Ridgeline will do everything I need, by far the most comfortable and best-driving truck, best for icy road conditions we have around here, best mpg without buying a diesel, best power, best storage/utility, etc. It’s basically an ultra-modern SUV that can do truck stuff.

      It may not be “manly”, but I don’t need a vehicle for my manhood, got plenty of that already. It just makes the most sense for my needs. I am not brand-loyal, and will likely jump ship if something better comes along.

    13. Evan
      Many errors in your post Evan.
      Forget natural gas to hydrogen conversion. Old news. Like 500-year-old news. We all did electrolysis experiments in high school so did our grandparents.
      Hydrogen is stored as liquid in the current hydrogen vehicles being sold and leased. As a liquid, it can now claim a 400-mile range in the new Hyundai hydrogen vehicle.
      Hydrogen has almost 3 times the energy units per mass as does gasoline. Remember not to compare gaseous hydrogen to gasoline. In vehicles, only liquid hydrogen is used.
      You can make your own hydrogen in your back yard with nothing more than solar cells, windmills or other green sources and water by using electrolysis. And hydrogen should be thought of as being the worlds/sciences best battery. Your green energy can also be used to compress the hydrogen into a liquid.
      Liquid Hydrogen has been shipped by trucks for a long time.
      Hydrogen can be piped through existing natural gas pipelines with minor changes.
      Our current electrical transportation system is already being strained even before the introduction of more electric vehicles. If we were to be at as little as 30% electrical vehicle usage rate. The electrical system would completely fail. And the improvements needed to reach that 30% goal would dwarf the cost of a hydrogen gasoline transmission system. Remember that improving the electrical system for a 30% electrical vehicle rate means improving the electrical system to include new power plants and all the way to the individual garage. For hydrogen, you only need to pipe to individual hydrogen stations because it is only a 3-minute fill up for the hydrogen car not an overnight ordeal.
      You need to apply your computer analogy to the new Hydrogen future.
      I am not trying to make a anti petrol industry argument. I am trying to get the petrol industry on board before they are run bankrupt by the new energy future of green electricity and hydrogen.
      January 9th marked my first 30 days of solar cells. I produce 130% of my electrical usage during that period. That extra electricity will be banked for summertime usage if I need it. And that period was the rainiest period in over 11 years.
      A few more panels and I could be producing my own hydrogen for a hydrogen vehicle using just tap water. Hydrogen is here just waiting for the ‘Shark Tank” to take the bull by the horns and proceed.
      The petrol industry needs to take notice.
      Hydrogen is the worlds/sciences best battery.

    14. Hey Longboat, I don’t disagree with anything you said and am not taking a shot at your manhood and am not looking to try to pull your man card for considering a Ridgeline. I am just saying for me, it won’t work, and I have a more traditional view of what a truck is. I fully agree this will meet a lot of needs and if I know Honda, it may meet more needs than most of us hardcore truck guys would like to admit. Maybe the seasoned ladies around here driving them have figured out something. I just have not seen anyone that goes off the grid much in them. I agree on the driving position of the Tacoma but I have gotten used to it and am buying another one. They are head and shoulders quieter than the last gen and improved despite looking more like a refresh. The only Colorado for me would be the ZR2. The Nissan is just ridiculous to me, especially since there is such a better global model out there that for some reason we cannot have. If the Honda met my needs and rose above the others in terms of performance and value for what I needed then I would consider it too. It just doesn’t for me but maybe it will for you. Happy driving!

    15. Mooning, rumor is that Nissan can bring the new Frontier here anytime they want. They are holding off because they want all of the spotlight on their Titan versions for the coming year. Also, the old Frontier is selling very well, so they have little incentive to bring the new one here rightaway. Maybe it will also give them time to add some last-minute tweaks.

      I’ve driven full-size trucks all my life, and still drive them at work. Looking for something a little more civilized for at home. I have my dirt bikes for when I want to do extreme off-roading! :p

    16. OK, Longboat, now I’m jealous! I miss riding my dirt bikes, my friend. I agree, Nissan is trying to push the Titan and the current Frontier is selling unexpectedly well. But, I have to wonder how well that new one would sell? I think it would take over the second spot from the Colorado if they would just bring it here. I am unashamedly a midsize truck guy all the way. I have owned a bit of everything over the years but I like the drivability of the smaller trucks. I know I can get more for my money with a fullsize but I don’t care – I want a smaller truck. I personally wish we would also get the Mitsubishi Triton and Mazda B series here along with the global Ranger (now, not later) and would even welcome a Ram Dakota. Then, maybe trucks would become a bit more affordable.

    17. I think the Chicken Tax really set back the compact and midsize truck market. People say it doesn’t matter anymore, and it might not, but it mattered big-time 20-30 years ago. These things take time to evolve. I suspect the mid-size market would be where the full-size market is (much more competition, much better selection, much better quality) if the Chicken Tax never existed.

    18. NASA pays .98 cents /gallon equivalent for NASA grade hydrogen.
      The cost to upgrade the national electric grid to provide enough power for a 30% electrical vehicle usage would exceed the cost of converting the natural gas to hydrogen pipeline. Relatively speaking pipelines are cheap and costs recovered quickly.
      Hydrogen can be piped to central storage areas and trucked to hydrogen fueling stations just like gasoline /diesel.
      California’s hydrogen fueling station build out has already begun.
      Fuel cell vehical manufacturers offer free fuel for the duration of a vehicle lease contract.

      What is killing the battery vehicle is that although there have been improvements there have not been any breakthrough advances in electric storage.

      Hydrogen is the breakthrough storage solution we have been waiting for.

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