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Honda R&D Installs Advanced Fast-Fill Hydrogen Refueling Station

Preparing for the 2015 introduction of the next Honda fuel cell-electric vehicle (FCEV), Honda R&D Americas has installed a state-of-the-art hydrogen refueling station on its Torrance, California campus. This advanced station will serve as a platform for demonstrating and validating the enhanced hydrogen fueling protocol developed by Honda, named the MC Fill. With the aim of standardizing this new protocol, Honda will make the new research station available to other automakers to further validate the MC Fill protocol’s performance and functionality.

The MC Fill fast-fill protocol is designed for fuel systems that store hydrogen at a pressure of 700 bar (70MPa or 10,000 psi). This new fueling protocol reduces 700-bar fueling times by up to 45 percent versus comparable fueling protocols, and can complete most fills in less than three minutes under normal temperature conditions. The MC Fill more precisely monitors the dispenser outlet temperature and uses this information to calculate the shortest fueling time possible. This dynamic, fast-fill control not only provides FCEV customers with shorter fueling times, but it also allows the dispenser to continuously adjust to current temperature and other conditions which normally affect the refueling time.

Derived from two key values in a heat transfer equation—”M” for mass and “C” for specific heat—the MC Fill name refers to the heat capacity of the hydrogen storage system and represents the capability of the system to absorb the heat that is generated during fueling. The MC Fill protocol utilizes this value, as well as the dispenser outlet gas temperature and pressure, in its fill control logic.

“In order to meet customer expectations, hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles need driving ranges and fueling times comparable to conventional gasoline vehicles,” said Steve Mathison, Senior Engineer at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “This new fueling protocol will allow FCEV customers everywhere to realize short fueling times over a wide range of temperatures.”

Honda has led the industry for nearly two decades in the development and deployment of fuel cell technology through extensive real world testing, including the first government fleet deployment and retail customer lease programs in the United States. Honda has also made significant technological advancements in fuel cell operation in both hot and sub-freezing temperatures and safety regulations, since the introduction of its first generation fuel cell vehicle, the FCX, in 2002. Honda launched its current fuel cell-electric vehicle, the FCX Clarity, in July 2008 as a real technological breakthrough in the areas of design, sedan packaging, assembly line manufacturing, and fuel cell stack size and efficiency, winning “World Green Car of the Year.”

In November 2013, the new Honda FCEV Concept debuted at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, pointing the way to an all-new Honda fuel cell car launching in the U.S. and Japan in 2015 and later in Europe. Honda’s next-generation fuel cell-electric vehicle will feature a fuel cell powertrain packaged completely in the engine room of the vehicle, allowing for efficiencies in cabin space as well as flexibility in the potential application of FC technology to multiple vehicle types in the future. The next-generation Honda FCEV is anticipated to have a driving range of more than 300 miles.

Honda Environmental Leadership
Honda is committed to further advancements in environmental technologies and the effort to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions from its products, including the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid and Plug-In, the Fit EV, Civic Natural Gas and the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle. Honda also has led the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has been included on the list of America’s greenest vehicles from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for the past 16 years.

2013 Honda CR-V is Easy to Park, Sleek

We love hearing about the different reasons people adore the Honda CR-V, but this was a new one.

In this article at TruckTrend.com, focuses mostly on how wonderfully easy the Honda CR-V is park. Seriously! It seems a bit funny at first, but then I thought about my experiences or concerns about driver a vehicle bigger than a mid-sized sedan and parking is right at the top. Who wants to be embarrassed as they try to squeeze into a tiny, downtown parking spot? Or start panicking as they realize that all the room they THOUGHT they had only to start pulling in and realize the vehicle was making it much tighter than it should be?!

Certainly, we’ve all experienced that anxiety, which is why the focus on ease of parking in this article is relevant. Especially to those moms (and dads) who need a vehicle big enough to transport kids and lots of stuff, but not one so big that it makes it impossible to park unless you park yourself away from everyone else.

“The Honda CR-V tends to be the pick families; moms and dads who want a great car for moving the family around,” said Tony Carter, general manager at Northwest Honda in Bellingham. “Families need a good sized car, but not one that feels like a tank driving down Fairhaven or makes it impossible to shop at Bellis Fair around the holidays. This article actually does a really great job of describing an important aspect of why people love driving (and parking) the Honda CR-V.”

How great is the Honda CR-V’s “parkability?”

“The CR-V seems as if was born to park, squeezing into laughably tight, strip-mall spots; shoring up perfectly square to curbs; and swiftly maneuvering through one of Los Angeles’ massive 10-story, subterranean parking garages. You’d almost swear this was Honda’s top priority when conceptualizing the fourth generation of its small ute.”

Stop by Northwest Honda, Sims Honda, or Apple Valley Honda to take the Honda CR-V for a test drive…and park!

2015 Honda Civic Type R is “Brilliant”

It’s big Honda news to have the 2015 Honda Civic Type R unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show…we’re just sad that it won’t be sold in the United States.

But, that’s no reason not celebrate the “brilliance” of the 2015 Honda Civic Type R, especially because some of its components may turn up in the new Honda CR-Z.

While the look of 2015 Honda Civic Type R is certainly striking, the writers at Motor Authority were especially struck by its performance: “We recently drove a prototype, complete with Honda’s new direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and found it to be absolutely brilliant. The engine also comes with Honda’s VTEC variable valve timing and should deliver at least 280 horsepower in production form.”

Check out the article linked above for more pictures and video about the new 2015 Honda Civic Type R.

Honda Ridgeline is a Truck for Non-Truck Buyers

Honda has vehicles for everyone. We even have a truck for non-truck buyers.

The Honda Ridgline is described that way in this article, but what does that mean? “To us, that translates into being a bit more comfortable, easier to get into and…well… less truck-like. It’s not that we have anything against full-size trucks, they are amazing with all their capabilities and there are models that are plush and comfortable, but they are just so…big.”

Don’t get us wrong, the Ridgeline has the necessary power and strength of a “regular” truck with it’s 250-hp 3.5-liter SOHC VTEC V-6 engine. It has a payload capacity of 1,500 pounds and towing capability of 5,000. Another great “truck” feature is the bed, which is big enough for most people’s transporting needs that you may not want inside the vehicle (dirt, wood, garbage, etc.).

But some one of the things we love the most is the least truck-like: the interior. “With its four doors and large rear seat, the Ridgeline easily carries five adults in a space that’s about 10 cubic feet larger than the interior of a Honda Accord and the same size as a Mercedes S-Class sedan. The rear seats are split 40/60 with the bottom cushions folding up to allow cargo to be easily stacked on the floor when more cargo space is needed. The interior also has plenty of handy places in the doors and center console for the must-have’s you can’t leave home without.”

Most people who aren’t stuck on the idea of a traditional truck love the 2014 Honda Ridgeline, even Consumer Reports listed it as their favorite compact pick up.

“When people need a truck, they don’t often think of Honda first,” said Tod McLaughlin, general manager at Apple Valley Honda. “But the 2014 Honda Ridgeline is a really a dark horse. You just have to give it a chance. Take it for a test drive and think about what your actual needs are. You’ll find that Ridgline is probably a great fit for you.”

Stop by Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealership to take the 2014 Honda Ridgeline for a test drive today!

Honda Loves You Back

Us loyal Honda fans love our Hondas. Now Honda is showing how it loves Honda drivers back.

Whether it’s paying $8 for aquarium parking so Honda drivers don’t have to or paying for a car wash for Hondas (especially ones that have 179,000 miles on them and have never been washed), Honda wants to show it loves you back.

Check out the short commercials linked here that shows how Honda loves you back and the reaction of surprised (and very happy) Honda owners! And keep your eyes open because “you never know where the love will strike next.”

Honda Accord’s Standard Features Set it Apart from Competition

Much has been written about why the 2014 Honda Accord is the best mid-size sedan on the market (by far). There are quite a few reasons it has been declared the best mid-size sedan by consumers and industry professionals alike, but the standout reason seems to be all the features that come ‘standard’ with the base model of the Accord that are ‘extra’ (and you’re charged ‘extra’) on other vehicles.

And those high-quality standard features doesn’t mean the 2014 Honda Accord costs ‘extra;’ in fact, it’s one of the most affordable mid-size sedans on the market starting at just under $22,000 for the Honda Accord LX.

According to this article on Torquenews.com, “Honda has taken a no nonsense approach to model upgrades. You will not find the “build-and-add” pricing platform utilized by former #1 Toyota. We believe that while both manufacturers may produce comparable products as demonstrated by the Camry, Honda’s approach to product specification, market transparency and cross-generational appeal has driven the maker to #1 in North America.”

So what features are we talking about?

“The features that people get most excited about, especially when they find out they don’t have to extra for them, are the back up camera, infotainment system, and safety features,” said Tod McLaughlin, general manager at Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “They get really excited when they take an Accord for a test drive and find out those and more features are included in the price.”

Stop by Apple Valley, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealership to find out why the standard features of the 2014 Honda Accord set it apart!

Today is a Pretty Great Day to Own a Honda Civic Coupe

In this extended commercial, we see how we could focus on how it could be bad day…but we should really focus on all the things that make today pretty great.

We think that anyone driving the new Honda Civic Coupe is having a pretty great day because of its superior performance. Stop by Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealership to find out how the Honda Civic Coupe can make all your days pretty great.

Honda Develops Solar Powered Compatible EV Charger

Honda is changing the way we think of electric vehicles and how they charge. Honda “…has made its way to the spotlight by working on a normal speed EV charger that is able to garner its energy from the power of the sun, too, which would go some way in promoting the use of electric-powered vehicles.”

Not only that, but it is a small solar panel that can be installed on a wall just about anywhere. According to this article, “Not only that, it can also be installed in a jiffy in existing parking areas, as it offers support for network-based billing services and smart card authentication. Not only that, the HEH55 will also sport locking systems that include a “gunlock” function so that any untoward mischief can be prevented.”

While all manufacturing are battling to create more efficient vehicles, including electric vehicles, Honda is taking it one step further and making the way these vehicles get power environmentally friendly, too. Not just environmentally friendly, but convenient.

And that’s pretty awesome.

Honda Odyssey Continues Safety Leadership with 14-Year History of Top Safety Scores from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

America’s most popular minivan, the 2014 Honda Odyssey, has received a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score, the top score available, in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). This means the 2014 Odyssey is the only minivan to earn the highest possible rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the IIHS, including a top score of GOOD in the new small overlap front test, and the NHTSA NCAP 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for 2014.

“With a 14-year history of top ratings in NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program, even as those top ratings have become harder to achieve, family car buyers have learned that the Odyssey is designed to help take care of their precious cargo,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of product planning and logistics at American Honda. “For customers looking to buy a minivan that achieves the highest-available safety ratings from the NHTSA and the IIHS, the Odyssey is the one and only choice.”

Already the benchmark minivan in terms of fuel efficiency2 and innovative features, the Odyssey’s occupant safety features for the 2014 model year are further enhanced through the application of Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. The second-generation of the ACE™ body structure has also been applied to the 2013-14 Honda Accord and 2013-14 Civic models that have also earned a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating. Civic is the only compact-class vehicle and Odyssey is the only minivan to achieve a GOOD rating in the IIHS’ very rigorous new small overlap front test.

The next-generation ACE™ body structure is designed to improve frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes. In addition, other body reinforcements work in tandem with the strengthened body structure to better maintain the occupant compartment volume during frontal collisions by providing additional crash energy pathways to help mitigate the forces transmitted to the passenger compartment.

In addition to applying the ACE™ body structure to most of its models, standard safety and driver assistive technology on all Honda models includes Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control; an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); side curtain airbags (some vehicles equipped with a rollover sensor as well); dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; and front side airbags.

While Honda has made structural improvements to the 2014 Odyssey, Honda also has applied a new type of side curtain airbag that includes a front chamber design intended to provide additional protection in situations where occupants move in a more angled outboard trajectory, such as those that occur in oblique or offset crashes.

The Odyssey represents Honda’s robust product development and manufacturing capabilities in North America. Designed in Los Angeles and engineered at Honda R&D America’s in Ohio, the Odyssey is manufactured by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, using domestic and globally sourced parts. More than 95 percent of all Hondas sold in the U.S., are built in North America.

Honda Gets Coveted Spots on Consumer Reports List

Hondas captured two spots on Consumer Reports top cars of 2014 list.

The Honda Accord was chosen as the best mid-sized sedan and the Honda Odyssey was chosen as the best minivan.

“The 2014 Honda Accord is truly one of America’s most favorite cars,” said Keith Hofkamp, general manager at Sims Honda dealership in Burlington. “It’s not a favorite because industry leaders said so, it’s a favorite because consumers say so. And the Honda Odyssey is clearly the best minivan for many reasons, so it’s nice to see consumers agreed with what we already knew.”

Stop by Sims Honda, Northwest Honda, or Apple Valley Honda to take the 2014 Honda Accord or Honda Odyssey for a test drive!

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