Honda Civic Going 100-Percent Hybrid, In Japan

Reuters and 24/7 Wall Street are reporting that Honda is phasing out the gas-powered Civic for the Japanese market, and will only sell the hybrid version.

Honda will roll out an all-new Civic worldwide in late 2011.

As we reported a few days ago, Honda is boosting investment in hybrid technology, based on the belief that conventional hybrid technology can provide fuel economy and CO2 benefits more cost effectively than plug-in cars or clean diesel models.

The 24/7 Wall Street writer Paul Ausick speculated, “US buyers may also see the day, sooner rather than later, when only a hybrid Civic is available.” Yet, U.S. sales of the Honda Civic Hybrid in the first half of 2010 are down by almost 75 percent. Meanwhile, in Japan, hybrids remain hot sellers. Toyota Prius has been the top-selling vehicle in Japan for the past 14 months.

The move to only sell Civic Hybrids in Japan represents the first time a conventional gas-powered vehicle would turn into a hybrid-only model. Honda currently offers the >Honda Insight, and will soon introduce the Honda CR-Z coupe. Both cars were designed from the beginning as hybrid-only models.

Some industry observers believe that tighter emissions laws will require hybrids to become a widespread mainstream auto technology. In 2008, Bob Lutz, G.M.’s legendary product guru, said “Ultimately by 2020 we figure that 80 percent of vehicles will require some sort of hybridization,” because of tougher fuel-economy standards.


  • Ramzy

    I fully support Honda’s move. Anyway I do not see the the change in the near future in Malaysia since the government still relies heavily of gas/diesel sales as min nation income.

  • TD

    Honda needs to improve the mileage of the Civic Hybrid to get better traction in the market. The Honda Fit gets just under 40 MPG while the Civic Hybrid gets just over 40 MPG in city driving. Buyers get more bang for their buck with the Fit. I think Civic Hybrid needs to be in the high 40′s or better low 50′s for MPG to make the cost difference worth it to buyers who are interested in high MPG, but are not MPG freaks like Prius drivers. Not that there is anything wrong with Prius drivers, just different priorities and different strokes for different folks.

  • Anonymous

    way to go Honda … now you just have to improve the mpg for the Civic a bit more. Right now the Civic Hybrid has too little mpg for it’s price, I just can’t justify buying one. Making it hybrid only hopefully enables them to bring the price down.

  • Dom

    Hmm…. I wonder if they sell the Civic SI in Japan. I believe the US Civic SI is only available with a manual transmission (cool!) so I wonder if there is a Japanese manual only Civic SI if it will get the powertrain from the new CRZ which includes a manual transmission.

  • ex-EV1 driver

    I wonder if they’re going to actually engineer the Civic Hybrid so they don’t have to sacrifice 1/3 of the trunk to fit the batteries.
    TD,
    I don’t see how you can compare a Civic with the tiny Fit. Us big guys have no use for a micro-car. We need efficient power trains, not less car.

  • Anonymous

    ” Honda currently offers the Honda Insight, and will soon introduce the Honda CR-Z coupe.”
    Are you talking about the Japanese market? Isn’t it true that CR-Z was available in Japan since early 2010?

  • Max Reid

    Wonderful.

    But what about the cost, currently Civic-H costs 24K in USA.
    Will it sell for just the 17K like the non-hybrid Civic. Even if it sells 18-19K and gives 45+ MPG overall, it will get the return on investment.

  • Suchi

    Honda is truely classy, Love the Honda city and Civic..

    suchi…
    TweetTwain

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