At the end of 2015 Honda will stop making the Hybrid and Natural Gas versions of the Civic, a move that’s surprising and even angering some people. It’s all part of the sweeping changes being made to the Civic for its tenth generation.
Instead of pursuing hybrid or natural gas technology for the all-new Civic, Honda has already revealed it has plans to forge ahead with advanced combustion technologies and turbocharging. The plan is to push the efficiency of the new crop of Earth Dreams engines to a level that’s higher than ever before seen on the Civic. According to Honda executives, the new highway fuel economy target is just above 40 mpg.
Back in 2003, Honda first launched the Civic Hybrid. The car was met with speculation by many, but some scooped it up and hailed the new powertrain technology as the way of the future. The model continued production through three different Civic generations, only to sing its swan song now.
Exactly why the Civic Hybrid is being killed off isn’t entirely apparent, considering that the technology would feed into the target fuel economy goals.
As for the Civic Natural Gas, Honda says that a lack of consumer interest from low gasoline prices is the cause. That’s believable, considering that annual sales volume for the vehicle usually hovers well below 1,000 units.
In addition, the Accord Plug-in Hybrid is being killed off after 2015 as well. Like the Civic Natural Gas, it has fallen victim to a lack of consumer interest. Of course, it doesn’t help that the vehicle isn’t available nationwide.
The rest of the Accord line will get an update for 2016, with the Hybrid model continuing on.
Lest anyone think this means Honda’s going to become less green, that’s not the case. The company has been pretty clear about its intentions to launch three new green models in the near future. Nobody can fault it for killing off vehicles that consumers didn’t want, because it is a business, after all.