LA Auto Show sees Honda plug-in platform

While showcasing its new Fit EV Concept vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Honda also unwrapped its plug-in hybrid platform.

The advanced two-motor system is powered by a 6-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery with a 120 kW motor, plus a 2.0-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine. 

The technology is expected to hit the market in 2012.

Honda said the plug-in hybrid platform, bound for its mid-size sedans, would get 10-15 miles in electric-only mode with a top speed of 62 miles per hour.

Combined with the four-cylinder engine, this setup is “compatible with daily driving habits,” the company said, “allowing for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode, while providing long-distance driving capability when needed.”

The vehicle also boasts a third mode, Honda said: “For more efficient high-speed cruising, the vehicle can engage in a direct-drive mode, in which only the engine drives the front wheels.”

Fully charging the plug-in hybrid, Honda said, would take between two and two and half hours plugged into a standard household 120-volt outlet. 

However, with a 240-volt outlet, that time is trimmed by about an hour.

*Pete Danko,