PHOTO CAPTION: New Honda Insight sedan pictured with FCX Clarity and future hybrid sports car

Honda Unconvinced of Viability of Battery-Dominate Cars

Lithium-ion powered cars would not satisfy most consumers, since such batteries are costly and still hold less than half the energy of gasoline by weight, asserts Masaaki Kato, president of Honda Motor Co.'s research unit.

Published: 16-Sep-2008

TORONTO -- As General Motors Corp. prepares to show the world today what its much-hyped plug-in electric car will look like, a key rival said it is steering away from plug-ins because the battery technology that powers them is lagging.

"For battery-powered vehicles to become more widespread, more popular in the market, we feel battery technology needs to advance further," Masaaki Kato, president of Honda Motor Co.'s research unit, told Bloomberg in an interview.

"We just don't see it providing the type of driving performance you get with a gasoline-powered vehicle."


The phosphate-based Epoch batteries are equipped with an advanced management system that will monitor and adjust cell performance.

The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.


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