The green market has been quietly won by Honda with winning of awards for more than a decade. The automaker first introduced the car to business fleet owners, government and then retail customers over a small number of test markets.
This fall is the scheduled date for the retail nationwide launch to go hand in hand with US President Obama’s wider adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles and mandating that by 2015 all federal cars will have to run on alternative, hybrid or electric power.
As oil climbs due to problems in the Middle East and natural gas plummet due to new discoveries in the US, potential customers will be lured by cost savings. But the playing field is crowded with the likes of the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf in the plug-in hybrid and fully electric sector as well as all the small zippy fuel efficient compacts that are offering really competitive fuel economy.
Honda wants to double their sales to about 4,000 vehicles the first year which is a modest goal while Nissan wants annual US sales to surpass 20,000 for the Leaf. The Civic GX is still the most affordable and quick to charge when compared to the Volt and Leaf, with a drive up range to 250 miles on just one tank and it only takes minutes to fill at public or home fueling stations.
While the Lead has only about a 138 mile range and can take up to 30 minutes to partially charge and up to 20 hours using a standard 110/220 volt outlet. The Volt can only drive about 50 miles on its battery before having to switch to a gasoline powered engine and takes up to 10 hours to fully charge.