Honda has announced that it will begin selling two new plug-in electric vehicles in the United States in 2012. The automaker also noted that these vehicles will serve as an intermediate step to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The new product line from the Japanese automaker will consist of a small plug in “commuter car” and a midsize plug-in hybrid. In addition, Honda will release a more efficient version of the popular Civic Hybrid next year.
Honda’s new plug-in vehicles will begin testing in California this year. Participants in the test study will include Google, Stanford University and the City of Torrence, California.
Honda hopes to use the new vehicles to compete with other electric vehicles being released in the near future such as the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Ford Focus BEV. However, the automaker sees its new electric vehicles as a stepping stone towards hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars in the future. A Honda spokesman referred to hydrogen technologies as the “ultimate solution” for dependence on fossil fuels, but cited issues such as lack of infrastructure as major obstacles.
Photo courtesy of hectorir and re-used under the Creative Commons license.