Honda Creates A Hybrid
In the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda has created its own technology for hybrid vehicles and taken a slightly different design path from that taken by Toyota. At the core of the Civic Hybrid's design is what Honda calls Integrated Motor Assist (IMA).
The Civic's hybrid IMA uses a 20 hp permanent magnet electric motor and couples it with a 1.3-litre 8-valve i-VTEC 4-cylinder 110 hp gasoline (petrol) engine. The electric motor can propel the Civic to speeds up to 35 mph (56 kph) or provide assist to the gasoline engine. Honda has put the electric motor for the hybrid between the engine and the transmission and uses it to perform three functions: vehicle driving power, regenerative braking for battery charging, and also as the starter motor for the gasoline engine.
The Civic Hybrid has a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives like an automatic but varies the ratio of gearing using two variable diameter pulleys and a steel belt. One of the other unique features of the Honda Civic Hybrid is that when stopped at a red light, the engine switches off using Honda's "idle-stop" technology and a green console indicator light indicates the engine is off. Once the brake pedal is released, the vehicle either restarts the engine or uses the electric motor to pull away from the intersection.
The EPA has given Honda's Civic Hybrid the classification of Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emiisions vehicle (AT-PZEV) and the fuel economy is rated at 40 city/45 highway mpg.