2010 Honda Insight Long Term Road Test

2010 Honda Insight EX: The Future Plan

May 20, 2010

Honda Alternative Fuels Hierarchy.jpg

While I was at an alternative fuels conference last week, I stopped by the Honda booth to check out their electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) offerings. No joy.

You see, according to the handouts at their booth, hybrids are as close as Honda will get to EVs (at least publicly, for now). Honda is banking on natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and hydrogen fuel cells for their future plan.

I like the idea of more natural gas vehicles. The long-term Civic we had drove like a normal underpowered compact, and the fuel is somewhat plentiful and domestically produced (no nation-building required). I also drove the FCX Clarity and was amazed by the fuel cell stack technology and driveability, but using electricity to turn hydrogen into electricity is a bit of circular logic to me.

And I like hybrids a lot: with these you can have a larger vehicle that still gets decent fuel economy, with no disruption to infrastructure. However, a lot of petro fuel comes from countries that hate us. And though evolving, producing a long-life energy-rich battery that is well-adapted to the harsh vehicle environment still challenges.

So I like NGVs the best of the alternative fuel options, but they're dead: most people want hybrids, including plug-ins.

How about you? Any of these technologies appeal to you, or do you prefer good-ol' dino juice?

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ ~18,400 miles

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2010 Honda Insight in VA is:

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