Honda is planning to develop a hybrid vehicle to compete with the Toyota Prius, according to Honda CEO Takeo Fukui. Its most recent hybrid vehicles have been hybrid versions of other Honda model cars, such as the Civic. The last hybrid-only model offered by Honda was its Insight, which was discontinued after model year 2005.
“The real competition has just begun,” said Fukui.
Honda’s Chief of Automobile Operation, Takanobu Ito, has said the new vehicle will be moderately priced, costing less than the Civic Hybrid, which retails for a starting price of $23,235. The new hybrid will be available in early 2009 and feature a lighter hybrid motor system to improve fuel efficiency. By 2010, Honda hopes that hybrids will account for 10 percent of the company’s global sales.