Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Honda 65 MPG Hybrid

HONDA ANTICIPATES A 65-MPG HYBRID. Honda Motor Co. says it might be able to build hybrid vehicles that get 65 miles per gallon—30% better mileage than the company’s latest Civic hybrid—with the help of a high-tech compression-ignition gasoline engine, notes The Wall Street Journal. Honda, like other OEMs, is working on so-called homogeneous-charge compression-ignition, or HCCI, engines. Such powerplants ignite their air-gasoline mixture by compressing it, as a diesel does, rather than using a spark plug—but at lower temperatures. HCCI promises to boost the fuel efficiency of a gasoline engine by 20%. But engineers have had trouble controlling the combustion at low and high speeds. Honda says its HCCI engine now runs smoothly at
low and medium speeds, although high-speed operation remains a challenge. The company says it expects to show a prototype four-cylinder HCCI system to the press as early as next year.
Last August General Motors, Bosch and researchers at Stanford University announced an HCCI program they hope will lead to a prototype system in a few years.