Despite the increasing number of hybrid electric vehicles on the US market, relatively low fuel prices force the share of dual powered cars to remain flat. Honda is expected to increase the availability of its electrified propulsion mechanisms in its models in the near future.
The company’s bestselling hybrid car is the midsize Accord. The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring is powered by the brand’s third-generation two-motor hybrid system so its permanent magnet motors do not contain any rare-earth metals. Clark Knapp Honda notes the Accord has been upgraded with new exterior and interior design features and enhanced intelligence features.
Drivetrain of the Accord
Thermodynamic efficiency refers to how much chemical energy per gallon of gas is converted into mechanical energy needed for driving. Cars with internal combustion gas engines have thermodynamic efficiencies between 25-30%. The rest of the car’s energy is expended as heat or used to overcome pumping losses and friction.
On the other hand, hybrids like the Accord are fitted with an Atkinson-cycle, port-injected 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine with 40% thermodynamic efficiency. It has a total combined output of 212 horsepower.
The Accord comes with three types of driving modes. The EV Drive mode uses power from the car’s battery and the Hybrid Drive mode uses electricity to move the car forward with the vehicle’s gasoline engine. The Engine Drive Mode involves a fixed ratio of gasoline and can only be employed under certain conditions.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Accords also come with radar based adaptive cruise control (ACC) and a lane keeping assist system. Cameras used for the lane keeping features have the capability to read traffic signs and display speed limits on to the map and instrument cluster of the car.
The Touring model comes with a colored heads up display that has a blind spot monitoring system and can show multiple pages on power-flow and navigation.
The Accord is loaded with a lithium ion battery pack, battery management system, and power electronics. This equipment is stored under the vehicle’s rear seats so trunk space is unaffected. The vehicle retains a conventional cargo volume of 16.7 cubic feet.
The rest of the vehicle’s cabin is largely unchanged when compared to traditional gas-only models. The only major interior difference is the instrument cluster displays an energy gauge instead of a tachometer.
Similarly, there is little exterior evidence of the Accord’s hybrid powertrain. It is only the special wheels and hybrid badges on the car’s fenders and trunk lid that show signs of this difference.
An NFC tag in the Accord’s dashboard allows Android phones easy Bluetooth connectivity with a simple tap of the phone to the tag. Apple users can connect their phones through the menu.
Honda also supports other smartphone functionalities like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The vehicle can mirror navigation prompts from Google Maps or Waze in the instrument cluster and heads up display for Android users.
The 2018 Hybrid Honda Accord combines driving dynamics, ride comfort, and fuel efficiency to improve overall driving experience.