Insight Availability Increased By More Than 50 Percent

6/27/2000 6:23:00 AM

Because consumer demand for Honda's gasoline-electric hybrid Insight by far exceeded initial expectations, Honda recently increased availability of the car in America from 4,000 vehicles to 6,500 in the 2000 calendar year.

At an EPA-certified 70 mpg, the Insight has the world's best gas mileage rating. Its high fuel efficiency and advanced hybrid technology have created waiting lists for the sleek two-seat coupe.

"Consumer response to the Insight and its hybrid powertrain is an indication of their acceptance of this technology," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With its ultra-high fuel economy and ultra-low emissions, the Insight helps to conserve natural resources, reduce the impact on climate change and lower smog-forming emissions."

Launched in December 1999, the Insight is certified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV). The Insight features Honda's Integrated Motor Assist™ (IMA) system combining a small, fuel-efficient 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor for improved efficiency and added power when needed. The electric motor is powered by a nick-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack. The IMA™ system automatically recharges the battery pack, using energy created during braking. As a result, the Insight does not require an outside source of electric power and never needs to be plugged in.

Amory Lovins, president of Hypercar, Inc., and founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, recently visited Honda R&D in Torrance to get a chance to test-drive the Honda Insight. Lovins, regarded as a visionary in the field of energy conservation and sustainability, recently propounded the need for a super-light, efficient "hypercar." Lovins regards the Insight as the first car to substantially fulfill the vision he espoused several years ago. "I'm impressed with the engineering of the Insight," said Lovins. "Honda is to be warmly congratulated on both the advanced design and the unexpectedly refined execution of this impressive car."