2014 Honda Accord Hybrid No Transmission
Typically when we tell you about fuel economies we tell you about the pairing of the engine and the transmission, but there’s something strange about the new Honda Hybrid. We recently discovered that the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid has no transmission—as in none at all. All the drive ratios are fixed which eliminates the need for gear changes. By eliminating that friction—46 to 80 percent according to Honda—the hybrid benefits from increased efficiency.
Normally hybrids require a complex transmission to combine the power from both the gas engine and the electric motor to power the vehicle. The complex system not only raises the sticker price, but it can be expensive to fix as well. To keep prices down, Honda stripped it out completely. The Accord Hybrid was designed to be powered mainly by the electric motor as it’s capable of operating at a wide range of speeds without having to shift gears.
This means that only a small portion of energy from the gas engine is used to spin the wheels. Rather the majority of the gas engine’s energy is used to keep a generator spinning constantly. The generator directly powers the electric motor when it starts up, but the rest of the generated energy is stored in the lithium-ion battery pack.
At speeds exceeding 43 mph, this system is no longer relied on, which is why the highway fuel economy is lower than the city. To maintain the required power at higher speeds, a clutch connects the gas engine to the rear wheels, allowing it to work in tandem with the electric motor.
In addition to the energy provided by the generator, the battery draws some charge from a regenerative braking system which collects the energy normally lost from deceleration and braking and sends it directly to the battery. This system—along with the absence of a transmission—allows the Accord Hybrid to get 50 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway.
To get a better look at how this system works, check out the image below. It makes everything we just went over a little easier to understand. Don’t forget that the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid release date is set for this Halloween, so the wait is almost over. Keep an eye on our new car inventory, or the Benson Honda blog so that you will know when we get this one of a kind hybrid in stock.