Our 5 Favorite Alternative Energy Cars of 2013

1. Honda Accord Hybrid

Based on Honda’s “Earth Dreams” two-motor hybrid system, the Accord Hybrid was launched at the end of October and is presently being snapped off of dealer lots.

In one fell swoop, Honda jumped to the head of the mid-sized sedan mpg ratings, ousting Toyota’s Camry Hybrid, not to mention Kia and Hyundai models.

Presently the Ohio-built cars are supply constrained, and must await their powertrains from Japan. That is putting a damper on sales only in the 500s last month, and maybe this month, but people are more than mildly interested and Honda will seek to localize supply as soon as feasible.

The Accord Hybrid’s 50 mpg city figure is attainable in real-world driving, and carefully executed mileage tests have actually seen this far exceeded.

Fans in this space have hoped to see Honda now apply its formula to the rest of its hybrid line-up, much of which is getting by with IMA (Integrated Motor Assist), and seriously lagging behind Toyota competitors.

Trickle-down from the two-motor Accord Hybrid could happen, said Honda spokesman Chris Martin, but in Japan – Honda’s primary new-tech beneficiary – the automaker is using a one-motor system to benefit the Fit Hybrid. That car was launched this summer, will be revealed next month in Detroit for the U.S., and yesterday Honda announced the related Vezel CUV launching in Japan today, and due in the U.S. next year.

Martin gave the traditional response that he was unable to comment on future products, but noted the one-motor SPORT HYBRID I-DCD system with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission beats the old IMA system by 35 percent, and exceeds the Toyota Prius c – known as the Aqua – in Japan.

The Accord Hybrid does have enormous potential, but more likely is its two-motor system could find its way into larger Honda and Acura models – perhaps maybe an Acura TLX or the Honda CR-V or even Ridgeline?

“Anything is possible,” said Martin yesterday, and for now Honda is focused on getting the Accord Hybrid up and running while surveying possibilities in its lineup.

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