Archive for the ‘Honda Efficiency’ Category

2015 Honda Siri Eyes Free Demonstration

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
Austin TX Honda dealer

Siri Eyes Free in your 2015 Honda is a convenient feature that gives you iPhone capability at your fingertips. Here is a demo on how to use Siri Eyes Free in your 2015 Honda. This demo was video taped in a 2015 Honda Civic however features are similar to the 2015 Honda CR-V and Fit.

View the remainder of our How To feature series at

https://www.youtube.com/user/HowdyHondaAustin

Howdy Honda: Passion for Environment and Customer Service

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

As a larger Austin business, Howdy Honda had already implemented the city’s universal recycling ordinance. But, after personal experience with environmental initiatives at home, General Manager Cliff Collier wanted to go further. He’d added 21 solar panels to his 2,600 square-foot home about three years ago; since then, his energy bills have dropped significantly, and he gets credits in the winter.

“I saw the results at home and wanted to do it here,” he says. “The cost savings makes it easy, but it’s also the right thing to do – we have to take care of this planet.”

Since then, the dealership has made significant environmental modifications that have resulted in big changes – and much less of an environmental impact. Of course, seeing is believing — and this aerial video says it all.

Collier and Howdy Honda have worked with Circular Energy on a complete environmental overhaul over the last three years, including installing the 706 rooftop solar panels you see in the video, as well as replacing all exterior mercury vapor lights with LED alternatives, and all incandescent interior lighting with fluorescents.

Those efforts recently earned the dealership a Gold Award as part of Honda’s national Environmental Leadership initiative. Launched in 2012, the core of the voluntary dealer program includes a 10 percent reduction in energy use, water conservation, and recycling.

Honda has been working to reduce the environmental impact of its products, manufacturing and logistics operations, and facilities in North America over the last 30 years, so expanding its environmental initiatives to dealers was a logical next step.

As independent businesses, each Honda dealer is responsible for developing strategies to reduce their environmental impact – and Collier and team took that to heart. While the award wasn’t Collier’s goal, he’s proud of the recognition.

“Qualifying is a level of accomplishment – it exhibits the fact that we’re doing something positive for the environment,” says Collier. “Now, our goal is to add motion-initiated light switches and other modifications and get to the Platinum level.”

A better customer experience

Collier and the team at Howdy Honda were also recently honored with the 2014 Honda President’s Award. The award is a reflection of the entire dealership scorecard – buying, selling, service, and parts – and the dealership was the only Honda store in the Austin market area to receive it.

“It’s about the total dealership experience – no matter what the need – and we’ve been able to fill it at a level of quality that’s tops in the industry,” says Collier, who has been general manager of Howdy Honda for the last 26 years. “In this business, success is about working hard and treating people well. When people come to Howdy Honda, they’ll be treated better than anywhere.”

 

The Honda Smart Home Offers Zero Carbon Living and Mobility

Monday, March 31st, 2014

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The Honda Smart Home is now complete! Honda first announced the development of the Smart Home project last year. It all started with this concept  and the completion of this eco-friendly foundation at the beginning of the year. Honda’s smart home was designed to generate more electricity than it consumes. Not only that, it can even power an electric Honda Fit with renewable energy. The Honda Smart Home is located in UC Davis West Village and a university faculty or staff member will live in the home for three years, during which Honda will collect data on how well the home performs. That data will then be published for academic researchers and utility companies to analyze.

This 1,944 square foot home uses renewable energy sources, sustainable building materials, and innovative construction techniques. The average home consumes 13.3 megawatt hours of electricity each year. The Honda Smart Home concept drastically reduces the amount of energy consumption with an impressive 2.6 megawatt hours. Mostly due to a 9.5 kW solar array on the roof. Some of the solar power stored goes directly to a Honda Fit EV which comes with the house. The Honda Fit can charge in just 2 hours!

“We are focused on more than just mobility,” said Michael Koenig, project leader. “As a society, we really need to look beyond just vehicles.” Only about a third of an average household’s carbon footprint is due to vehicle use. The Honda Smart Home aims to cut not only that, but the additional energy consumption that comes from lighting, heating, and air conditioning. In addition to solar panels, the Smart Home features a geothermal heat pump for hot water, heating and cooling. Shutters and vents open and close automatically for passive heating and cooling and all hot water pipes are designed to keep water travel distance as short as possible to minimize heat loss.

Koenig calls the Smart Home the “house of the near future,” and stresses that 90 percent of the technology involved in building the home is off-the-shelf and available today. “They’re not quite in the mainstream conversations people are having when they’re building their homes or remodeling their homes,” Koenig said.

Here is a time lapsed video of the Smart Home construction:

Honda Accord: 2014 Green Car of the Year

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
2014 Honda Accord Austin

Honda Accord: Green Car of The Year
Photo Credit: USA Today

You’ll now be thinking Green with the Honda Accord! The Green Car Journal just named the Honda Accord “2014 Green Car of the Year”. The Green Car Journal has been focusing on the relationship between automobiles, energy and the environment since 1992. The publication is now known as the premier source of information about high fuel efficiency, low emission, advanced technology, and alternative fuel vehicles. The Accord was also honored as one of Green Car Journal’s ‘Top 5 Green Cars for 2014’ and ‘Green Car Product of Excellence’. What an honor!

“Led by the 2014 Accord Hybrid, the entire Accord lineup really embodies the promise of the Honda brand to deliver both fun-to-drive enjoyment and outstanding fuel efficiency at the highest level,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of Automobile Operations at American Honda. “I want to say thank you to Green Car Journal, not just for honoring Accord, but for shining a spotlight on the environment and our shared vision for an ultra-low carbon future.”

“With its efficient internal combustion, hybrid, and plug-in choices, the 2014 Honda Accord delivers exactly what consumers are looking for today,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and Carsofchange.com”It all comes together this year for the Accord in ways that speak to significant environmental performance built into a mainstream, volume model that’s a joy to drive. The Accord is a deserving winner of Green Car Journal’s 2014 Green Car of the Year.”

The 2014 Accord is the second Honda vehicle named “Green Car of The Year”. The 2012 Civic Natural Gas received the distinction in 2011.

Honda's Next Generation FCEV to Launch 2015

Monday, November 18th, 2013
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Honda FCEV Concept Sketch

Honda’s FCEV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) Concept was unveiled at today’s Los Angeles International Auto Show. Honda first released this teaser sketch earlier in the month in anticipation of this smart car’s world debut. This sleek looking car was designed with aerodynamics in mind and seats up to 5 thanks to new powertrain packaging efficiencies. This next generation Honda FCEV promises a 300+ mile driving range!

Honda plans to launch its next generation fuel cell-electric vehicle in 2015. The vehicle will feature the world’s first fuel-cell powertrain packaged completely in the engine room of a vehicle. This allows for efficiencies in cabin space and potential application of FC technology to more vehicles in the future.

“The Honda FCEV Concept hints at Honda’s future direction for fuel-cell vehicles,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “While this car is a concept, it points toward a very real future.”

Honda has been an industry leader in fuel-cell technology development and research for nearly two decades. Honda began leasing its first generation FCEV, The Honda FCX back in 2002 and has deployed the FCX Clarity in the US and Japan since. The FCX Clarity was dubbed 2009 World Green Car. Honda even partnered with GM to garner fuel-cell adoption.

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Honda FCEV Concept at LA Auto Show

Photocredit: Air Resources Board

Honda's Paint By Numbers Short Film Recognized with Telly Awards

Friday, September 13th, 2013

As an auto industry leader, Honda not only limits Green efforts toward producing cars that are fuel efficient, have low emissions and run on alternative energy sources. Honda translates that philosophy into the production line as well. Paint by Numbers, the first film production in an environmental series produced by Honda, demonstrates just that.

Paint by Numbers was recognized with two Telly Awards in the Green/Eco-Friendly and Social Responsibility categories. The Telly Awards honor the best film and video productions, groundbreaking online video contact, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs.

Paint by Numbers features Honda engineer Shubho Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya’s simple idea made a huge impact in the efficiency and the sustainability of the Honda production process. He first isolated the painting process as the largest energy consuming part of the Honda production line. With the help of his fellow associates, Bhattacharya conceived Honda’s Intelligent Paint Technology, which has cut Honda’s North American manufacturing CO2 emissions by about 10,000 metric tons per year and has helped reduce factory energy consumption by 25%!!

“Honda associates are always dreaming up innovative ways to reduce our environmental impact,” said Marcos Frommer of Honda North America, Inc., one of the producers of the film series. “Short films are a great way to share our associates’ sustainability initiatives, and we’re honored to receive this recognition from the Telly Awards.” Watch the groundbreaking film below:

As your local Austin Honda dealer, we are very proud to offer Honda products and follow in their footsteps by working toward an energy-efficient operation here at Howdy Honda.

Honda and GM partner to expand nationwide fuel-cell adoption

Monday, July 8th, 2013
Honda FCX Clarity Austin TX

Honda FCX Clarity

As leaders in the auto industry, Honda and General Motors are joining forces to co-develop next-generation fuel cell technology systems and hydrogen storage technologies by 2020. Both, GM and Honda will work together with government agencies and stakeholders to develop a new hydrogen refueling infrastructure which will be essential to long-term viability and acceptance of fuel cell vehicles.

Fuel cell technology addresses the challenge of petroleum dependency, auto emissions, and refueling times in today’s vehicles. Fuel cell vehicles present great benefits to the environment because they operate on renewable hydrogen made from sources like wind. How does it work? Well, a fuel cell vehicle creates electricity from a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in a car’s fuel-cell stack. Thus, the only emission from fuel cell vehicles is water vapor. Fuel cell automobiles can have up to 400 miles of driving range and can be refueled in as little as three minutes.

According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, with more than 1200 patents between them. Now that’s impressive!

“This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology,” said Dan Akerson GM chairman and CEO. “We are convinced this is the best way to develop this important technology, which has the potential to help reduce the dependence on petroleum and establish sustainable mobility.”

Takanobu Ito, president & CEO of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. mentioned: “Among all zero CO2 emission technologies, fuel cell electric vehicles have a definitive advantage with range and refueling time that is as good as conventional gasoline cars. Honda and GM are eager to accelerate the market penetration of this ultimate clean mobility technology and I am excited to form this collaboration to fuse our leading fuel cell technologies and create an advanced system that will be both more capable and more affordable.”

Honda began leasing the Honda FCX in 2002 and has deployed 85 units in the US and Japan. Its successor, the FCX Clarity was named 2009 World Green Car. Thanks to this vehicle, Honda has collected valuable data concerning real-world use of fuel cell electric vehicles. As announced, Honda plans to launch the successor of FCX Clarity in 2015 in Japan and the US.

Honda Smart Home to produce zero-carbon living

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Honda Smart Home

Honda Smart Home Rendering

While we were trying to be more eco-friendly by banning the use of plastic bags and buying hybrid cars, Honda was developing a project that will make our efforts seem like child’s play. The Honda Smart Home US concept home is at the vanguard of energy efficiency and environmental consciousness, and gives us a glimpse as to what the future might hold for homeowners.

This past week Honda announced the creation of the Honda Smart Home US (HSH) at the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction site on the campus of University of California, Davis, marking the beginning of the building process. The HSH is a “showcase for environmental innovation and renewable energy enabling technologies that demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility, including the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit EV battery,” says a Honda press release.

This sustainable home will feature an array of technologies that will greatly reduce the energy consumed by individual households while fully providing for the needs of an electric vehicle. The home will also offer its occupants control over all the systems in the house, allowing residents to remotely and continually monitor and adjust all aspects of energy use in real time.

So how will the HSH achieve “zero net energy”?

1. A solar power system will be installed to provide the energy for the home and electric vehicle.

2. A Honda Energy Management System will actively manage energy use, allowing the home to maximize its energy efficiency while responding to the needs of the electrical grid. This will minimize the impacts of solar energy generation and electric vehicle charging on the utility grid.

3. UC Davis energy research centers will design efficient, cost effective solutions to major home energy loads like heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems.

4. The electric vehicle charging will be connected directly to the solar system to avoid the CO2 emitted by grid electricity production.

5. The home will feature passive design elements and novel material to further reduce the CO2 emissions from the production of building materials and the construction and operation of the home.

Honda expects the home to be completed by the end of 2013. You can follow the building process through the HSH website.

Although this is years away from being remotely available, I can’t wait to have this type of Honda in Austin!

Honda Smart Home 3

A Honda App that Can Ease Traffic Flow

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Honda-Traffic-AppA new smartphone application developed by Honda can help traffic flow by predicting congestion and alerting drivers in order to avoid bottlenecks from happening in the first place. Bottlenecks (named after the curves on Coke glass bottles) are caused by rapid slowdowns on certain spots and create traffic build up, while in front the traffic is relatively free-flowing.

Honda’s app monitors the driver’s acceleration and deceleration pattern over time to predict if a certain pattern (like heavy breaking) could cause a traffic jam. It then coaches the driver to decrease the abrupt acceleration and breaking.

Honda tested the app between September and February on both a single car and as a connected network of cars using the app. On both tests, the app helped delay traffic congestion by an average of three to four minutes and reduce changes in average speed by 60 to 70 percent. An even better result was that fuel economy improved by 20 to 22 percent.

Although the app can’t eliminate traffic altogether, it has the potential to help alleviate and improve traffic flow. The app is not yet available, but Honda said it will eventually embed the system on Honda models.

 

Honda-Traffic-App-graphic

A Look into the Future of Honda

Friday, August 10th, 2012
A look into the future of Honda

Honda has been keeping pretty busy these days, but what are they cooking up for the next few years? Thanks to a few resources we got to take a peek and share it with you.

Engineering/Technology:

Debuting with the all-new 2013 Honda Accord, we will see the new and more efficient “Earth Dreams” family of engines spread throughout the Honda lineup as they get redesigned or refreshed. The engines have direct-injection and dual-overhead cam, producing a 10% increase in fuel efficiency.  

In addition to that, even the base four-cylinder will have a twin-cam profile setup, variable valve timing and direct injection. There are also rumors that a 1.6-liter diesel engine that can get up to 220 pound feet of torque could show up in the United States.

Also debuting with the 2013 Accord, you will see Honda put heavy emphasis on Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT). However, not all of the lineup will receive a CVT, performance and off-road models will keep geared transmissions.

Product Line:

Fit – A redesigned Fit comes in summer of 2014. However, Honda might not wait until then to install the Earth Dreams engine and a CVT.

Fit Crossover – There has been rumors that Honda is studying the concept of a compact crossover that would be below the Honda CR-V. A smaller, entry-level crossover might be in store for 2015.  

Insight – The redesign is set to come for the 2015-model year.

Civic – Last year, Honda announced that it is working on a Civic refresh for the 2013 model set to come out this fall. You can expect improvements on the instrument panel, but the Earth Dreams engine and CVT might not be integrated until the 2014 mid-cycle refresh.

Crosstour – A mid-cycle refresh is due for the 2013-model year which will include a six-speed automatic transmission, but not an Earth Dreams engine.

Pilot – The redesigned Pilot will come out fall of 2014. It will most likely get an Earth Dreams V6, with a CVT for the front-wheel-drive version and a six-speed automatic transmission for the all-wheel-drive version.

Odyssey – The Earth Dreams engine will most likely be incorporated for the 2014-model year refresh.

Ridgeline – The redesigned Ridgeline is coming in 2014. Honda will most likely keep the handling dynamics and packaging, but change the styling and improve the fuel economy.

S2000 – Honda has alluded to the possibility of reviving the S2000, but it is not a priority at the moment.

Besides that, if you want to know what Honda is thinking for the next generation of vehicles, check out the 5 coolest concept cars by Honda post.

Be sure to check out our lineup of new and used cars in Austin.