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2016 Acura NSX Plug-in Hybrid ^^

2016 Acura NSX PHEV by Honda : Image
The 2016 Acura NSX will bring the best of the original NSX combined with hybrid technology from Honda. The Next NSX is a Plug-in Hybrid. That means more power, digital all wheel drive, and better fuel economy. The virtues of cleaner high performance will resonate with everyone when the next NSX hits the streets of Earth ^^

The next NSX will be an epic vehicle (sleek looking too), as many delays has pushed its release back to 2016. Refinement and optimization, careful construction and an impeccable attention to detail, the next NSX will contain the best of what Honda is able to do. A mid mounted twin turbo V6 and 3 electric motors, a 9spd DCT tranny :)  ~$155,000USD will bring one of these to your garage.

Normally when speaking about hybrids I would drift off into discourse about the Toyota Prius, but the main image on this posting is a Honda. Acura is the brand, Honda is the manufacturer. The next NSX is a derivative of hybrid technology that Honda has been working on for a long time.

2005 Honda Insight : 60+ MPG: Image
The original Insight (1999) was Honda motor corporations first mass produced modern hybrid vehicle, and a superlatively fuel efficient one. Utilizing a mild hybrid setup called IMA (integrated motor assist), the original insight returned more than 60mpg in the real world, in a tiny mostly aluminum coupe that was available with a 5spd manual transmission, though usually shipped with a CVT. It was unfortunately too cramped for broad market appeal back in the early 2000's in America.

When I purchased Astro the Prius in 2005, the original Insight was on the short list, ultimately I went with the strong hybrid Prius technology. The IMA technology was fascinating in its own way, a pancake electric motor where the engines flywheel would normally reside, the instant torque of the electric motor able to make up for the gasoline engines rev range deficiencies, making it more powerful as an power plant while also boosting the overall system efficiency.

2015 Honda CRZ 6spd Hybrid Sport Coupe
Today, the Honda CRZ is the spiritual successor to the original Insight. I often wax and wane internally with the idea of buying one of these to replace the 2013 Nissan Leaf S when my lease expires at the end of this year. I am a fan of the $20k CRZ hybrid sport coupe. It is peppy and fuel efficient and more fun to drive than the Prius. Something like 45mpg if you drive with eco style and probably much more like 30mpg if you get on it, I imagine the real world average fuel economy will be exactly as the figures on Fuelly for this model indicate, right around 40MPG.

The CRZ is an affordable sport hybrid with hints of the original insight and vintage CRX blended into its design. Light, nimble, quick, its no Subaru WRX for performance, but it does return fun fuel economy. Sport Hybrid. Increasingly I like this idea. Something compact and quick that is also fuel efficient. Honda has announced that their next CRZ for the USA is not going to be a hybrid, only the JDM models will be equipped with a turbo-charged IMA setup :( The current CRZ launched in 2010, so its at the end of its Model class life :( Time will tell, and until then I will keep thinking about this one.

In other Hybrid News

Audi and BMW recently announced that all of their upcoming models are going to be plug in hybrids. Combining turbocharged engines with several electric motors, these digital all wheel drive vehicles are going to give the best of the Tesla Model S with the range extended operation of a Chevy Volt :) The Plug in hybrid platform is great because it offers more performance, better fuel economy, and enhanced vehicle dynamics.

The added weight of batteries can be slung low to the ground on the underside of a vehicle, with a heavy armor plate, producing a lower center of gravity in a PHEV. The instant torque output of electric motors more than makes up for the mass they and they batteries add to the vehicle.

Plug-in Hybrids offer the best of hybrid fuel economy, with extended fast refill range. You can easily take a long road trip using gas stations, or operated completely electrically in-town where you commute normally. The PHEV is a no-compramise platform, one that benefits greatly for advances in automotive lithium-ion battery energy storage technology.

Why do Hybrid Matter? 

In previous postings I talk about the Global issues regarding fuel economy. They are:

Local air quality where most people alive are breathing

The economy of a nation with relation to importing oil

Climate change, changing the gas composition of earths atmosphere

Clean technology, energy efficiency and sustainability through innovation

Many people are quick to be dismissive of hybrid technology, they fail to grasp the tremendous environmental, economic and social equity issues related to fuel economy. Hybrid and plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are important because they improve air quality. This in turn improves the health and well being of all entities that breath; our friends, family, pets, animals in nature, and basically all life on earth improves with better cleaner technology. Lower long term health care costs can be realized if we reduce the harmful effects of smog by reducing the amount of smog that traffic emits. Cleaner vehicles mean cleaner air and healthier people and lower health care costs.

In terms of climate change, the burning of fossil fuels releases more than 30 billion tons of CO2 into Earth's thin fragile and chemically sensitive atmosphere. Elon Musk and Neil DeGrasse Tyson recently sat down for discussion and both proclaimed that fossil fuels were the worst experiment in human history, fouling the atmosphere and acidifying the oceans, rivers and lakes.

The stuff that exits a tail pipe has a very serious long term impact on the world. People are quickly to embrace the diffusion of responsibility, by diluting their perception of their pipe emission of just "one" vehicle. But everything is made of one unit. A state is made of a bunch of individuals. Our civilization is made up of a bunch of ones, people who each make decisions.

When lots of people are choosing to embrace clean technology, the world becomes less polluted. This is called aggregate behavior in the social and statistical soft sciences. Go read a book and educate yourself if you don't understand how ones persons choices affect the lives of everyone. Stop being narrow mind and start thinking on a global scale. Your choices will affect your future and the future of our civilization.

I talk about hybrids and plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles because I live in a vehicle culture country called America. Here in America roads and cars are all around us, the mechanical infrastructure that we encounter in our daily lives. Our vehicles change and get recycled more regularly than our buildings. Vehicles are intrinsically more recyclable than most buildings because of the extensive use of metals in vehicles. The design life of a vehicle (20 years) is also far shorter than the design life of even shitty buildings pumped out by half baked companies like Quadrant Homes.

The stuff that exits the tails pipes of vehicles is behind the terrible air quality in Los Angeles California; this despite the CARB having the most stringent vehicle emissions standards in the entire USA. The problem is the number of tail pipes. In Mexico City, the Capital of Mexico, dirty tail pipes with low atmospheric flushing, result in the worst air quality in the world. I recently spoke a scientist from Mexico City, and he told me that here in Seattle, we have Champaign air. He went on to say that his home air filtering system becomes caked with a black layer of soot after only 2 weeks of operation. He spends more than $6,000 per year for air filters for his 2 bedroom condo.

This is the high cost of the tragedy of the commons. The air pollution in Mexico city is an example from which we can derive lessons about the fouling of everyones air by tailpipes everywhere. In America, we have more vehicles than people. Combined with a fossil fuel power plants, that is a lot of tail pipes emitting smog. At least at the power plant, no weight penalty holds back the installation of ever improving emissions controls and upgrades, on a private vehicle that is practically speaking impossible, and actually in law, it is a felony to modify the emissions control of a vehicle.

Tail pipes are externalization, they are the offloading of the vehicle operators foul emissions into the air that other people breath. In this way, the people who pay the penalty of breathing the emission are being punished because of someone else's choices. It might sound funny, but to be truly fair, the tail pipe of a car should be emptied into the cabin for the driver of that car to breath. The world is obviously not fair. I tried to explain this concept to a battled hardened retired car sales man, and he whole sale could not grasp the gist of it. He went into a diatribe about how the emissions from a tail pipe are quickly diluted, but everyone in the scientific community already knows that dilution is not the solution to pollution. I am sure he will come around one day, having already experienced cancer, his appreciation of Elon Musk and Neil DeGrasse Tyson will inexorably bring him to the illumination of the truth about this subject, about tail pipe emission. He already understands that human activity is causing climate change, the innovation in thought is to understand how each person tail pipe contributes to this problem.