Monday, Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co Ltd.’s President Takanobu Ito revealed in an interview that it intends release a hybrid minivan around 2011, according to The Nikkei. The company currently has two models of hybrid vehicles, the Insight and the Civic Hybrid.

According to the plan, Honda plans to add a variety of hybrid models in the near future, including the CR-Z, a sporty hybrid, in February and a hybrid version of its Fit subcompact by the end of 2010.

In a statement, Ito said, “First of all, it is important to expand our lineup. We want to introduce a hybrid model to minivans, which continue to enjoy strong customer demand.”

Honda is also expected to deliver a new hybrid minivan next year which resembles the Odyssey and the Estima, which are already selling in Japan. The 2010 electric car line-up with hybrid technologies is also on the cards. Honda projects a sale of more than 300,000 hybrid vehicles in the next five years.

“Fuel efficiency has been what matters most in hybrid vehicles, but what is required from now on is a balance among economy, fuel efficiency and price,” Ito added.

However, Honda’s plans to develop electric cars would have to first meet California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulation, which is considered the toughest in the world.

Souce: Gasgoo


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