The 2001 Honda Insight, the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle sold in North America, earned top honors for the second straight year in the Environmental Protection Agency annual report on automotive fuel economy. With an average fuel economy of 64 mpg, the Insight surpassed the next most efficient vehicle by more than 16 mpg. Also making the top ten list were two versions of the all-new 2001 Honda Civic, the Civic HX with manual transmission and the Civic HX with CVT (continuously variable transmission). The all-new Civic, now classified as a compact car by the EPA, boasts significant improvements in safety, performance and efficiency, with fuel economy gains ranging from five to nine percent over previous models.
"With fuel prices hitting new highs, we see consumers looking more closely at fuel economy as a factor in their car purchase," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "It's great to receive this recognition."
Also posting a top score in the 2001 fuel economy study is the redesigned 2001 Accord, earning a tie for first place in the mid-size car segment. The Accord Sedan and Coupe boast new styling, a quieter ride and numerous other improvements for 2001.
Recognized as the world's most efficient gasoline-powered automobile, the Insight employs Honda's innovative IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) hybrid technology, combining a 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine with electric motor assist for improved efficiency. The electric motor is powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries which are recharged by regenerative braking during normal driving.
Also contributing to the Insight's world-class fuel efficiency is its lightweight yet strong aluminum body structure -- 40 percent lighter than a comparably-sized steel body -- along with its highly aerodynamic body design. The Insight also provides outstanding safety, meeting all current U.S., European and Japanese standards as well as 2003 safety standards for side impact and head-injury protection.
The Insight is the latest in a long-line of Honda innovation in the areas of fuel efficiency and low emissions. Honda has the highest Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rating of any full-line automaker, while more than 88% of all Honda and Acura vehicles sold in North America are equipped with advanced low emissions technology.
Honda clean air innovations include:
- EV Plus (May, 1997) -- the first application of advanced nickel-metal hydride batteries in an electric vehicle.
- Civic GX (April, 1998) -- the natural gas-powered Civic GX has been certified as the cleanest internal combustion vehicle ever tested.
- Accord SULEV (February, 2000) -- this Super Ultra-Low Emissions Accord was the first SULEV sold in the United States and was certified as the cleanest gasoline-powered vehicle.
- 2001 Civic (September, 2000) -- the all-new Civic is the first car to meet California's ULEV (Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle) standard in all 50 states.