Hot off the oven, real life be damn, this is one news too awesome to skip (as awesome as the Expendables movie cast announcement). Temple of VTEC forum member Kiwi VTEC just post this great awesome news from GoAuto.com about a semi official word from Honda of Australia official on Fit/Jazz hybrid mileage… And hoo boy, that car got mileage.
According to Honda Australia spokesman Mark Higgins, the Fit/Jazz hybrid will net 26 Kilometer per Liter of fuel or 61 MPG (US) estimated using Japan’s new stricter government measurement standard. If anything the figure would be a highway figure rather than inner city (hell) driving. Still, with hybrid charge cycle/stop go characteristic, inner city driving would net better mileage than regular internal combustion engine anytime.
Another amazing point (two to be exact) is the weight and type of battery used in the next Fit/Jazz hybrid. The car is going to weigh in at 1100 KG and it will use a Nickel Hydrogen battery. Nothing so special if you think about it for a second right? Well think about it for a minute, and bing/google current generation Fit/Jazz weight and what is Nickel Hydrogen and you’ll see it’s very special.
Current Fit/Jazz weighs in at 1100 KG (FIT RS, CVT, Japan domestic market) and the next Fit/Jazz hybrid weighs in about the same. It’s special because hybrid cars has two extra component on top of regular cars and it’s the battery and electric motor. The battery alone take considerable space, that’s why most hybrids doesn’t have spare tire, and the electric motor puts extra weight on the engine bay. So it’s quite amazing that Honda can match the old Fit/Jazz weight with the extra gizmos on the new Fit/Jazz hybrid. Then, there’s the battery.
Toyota and GM with its Prius and Chevrolet Volt will usher in the new generation of hybrid and electric car using Lithium Ion battery. Said to be smaller yet has the capacity to hold more charge than the outgoing Nickel Metal Hydride battery used in many hybrids nowadays. Now, Australia Honda spokesman hinted that Honda is still using a Nickel based battery, but a Nickel based battery that is currently used in outer space.
I won’t try to act that I know about Nickel Hydrogen, so let me shamelessly quote a short article about it from hydrogencarsnow.com which offers the simplest explanation about the battery.
According to the Florida State University website, “The nickel-hydrogen battery has a nickel oxide positive electrode similar to the nickel-cadmium cell, and is like the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell since it has a hydrogen negative electrode. This hybrid battery has a long cycle life, high specific energy, high power density, and also exhibits tolerance for overcharge, and is therefore the choice battery in many aerospace applications, especially geo-synchronous (GEO) and low earth-orbit (LEO) satellites. In addition, the battery’s hydrogen pressure is a good indicator of the charge state of the battery.” The nickel-hydrogen battery from the FSU website is pictured above.
So in a way, this Nickel Hydrogen battery is essentially a hydrogen cell packed inside a battery, that’s why it’s called a hybrid battery… And what do you know? Honda will use a SPACE AGE technology battery that is a HYBRID by itself for its hybrid car… (sorry, couldn’t resist).
There’s no real life comparison between Nickel Hydrogen and Lithium Ion in term of effectiveness, power holding capability and shelf life. But think about it this way, Nickel Hydrogen battery is the battery of choice for satellites, something that’s when launched is usually left for its own for years even decades. So each components must be redundant enough to withstand environmental hazard like the extreme cold or the extreme heat of outer space.
Well, this news could be a hoax after all. I never imagined that this groundbreaking news would be told first by Honda Australia official. But if it’s real… Honda will have its factory workers works double time over the Fit/Jazz hybrid lifetime, especially if the persistent rumor that the company will bet everything in hybrids and making it go mainstream came true. Sub 200 Million Rupiah /US$20K hybrid in Indonesia? Hell YEAH!