Honda Investing $23 Million for Accord Hybrid Production, Add 50 Jobs

By Trevor Dorchies | January 11, 2013
Honda has announced that it will be investing $23 million into its Marysville, Ohio, assembly facility to handle production of the Accord Hybrid. An additional 50 jobs will be added as well to ready the hybrid before it enters the market this coming fall. The Honda Accord Hybrid will be the third hybrid model built in the U.S. and the first to be assembled in the state of Ohio. Currently, Honda's production facility in Indiana handles Civic Hybrid and Acura ILX Hybrid assembly. Part of the $23 million investment is going towards the expansion of the 95,000-square-feet Marysville facility in order to make room for Accord Hybrid production. This also includes stretching out the main assembly line to better suit the particular process needed to build a hybrid vehicle. The expansion also includes adding more real estate for more parts-related processes and other sub-assembly operations. Honda plans to increase the facility's efficiency as a whole with a focus on parts logistics. The new Accord Hybrid is joining the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid, and will both utilize the Japanese automaker's first two-motor hybrid system. Both hybrid models will draw power from the new Earth Dreams Technology 2.0-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine that, when combined with the electric motor, makes 124-kilowatt--about 166 horsepower. The traction electric motor can double as a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) on its own or make 105 kilowatts of power--140 horsepower--independently of the gas engine. Atkinson engines burn gas incredibly efficiently, but lack torque, the rotational force needed to get the car going quickly. Fortunately, electric motors have plenty of torque, making pairing the two ideal for hybrid cars like the Accord Hybrid.
Including this $23 million investment for the Accord Hybrid, Honda has invested over $800 million into its assembly facilities in Ohio over the last three years. These investments have gone towards establishing on-site parts consolidation centers and renovations to the auto assembly and painting operations. Other major investments have gone to the Anna Engine Plant and the transmission facility in Russells Point to expand production of CVTs. The latter plant has recently started in on projects to expand CVT production, too. Source: Honda

The engine in the 2014 Accord Hybrid is not a true Earth dreams engine. A true one has both Atkinson valve behavior for economy, but also regular OTTO cycle for when you want power, on demand.  This way the Accord could retain the fuel economy but would have even more power when you press on the gas really hard.

On Civics and other smaller vehicles this brings down costs because you don't need a hybrid powertrain in order to get good benefits from a true Earth Dreams engine.