When asked why the Japanese market were afforded a hybrid model while the US market got nothing, Honda said that Americans don’t really want hybrids. So the Honda Odyssey will remain as a gas-only offering stateside when its next-gen model rolls out in 2018.
That, however, doesn’t seem to align with the automaker’s goal of going full-force in the EV market by the end of the decade. Next year a dedicated plug-in hybrid would show up, followed by electrification across the Honda lineup in the years ahead.
If it’s keen on alternative powertrains, why hold back on hybrid or plug-in hybrid variants of its most popular nameplates. Take for instance the fifth-gen Honda CR-V, which is expected to overtake the Accord and Civic as Honda’s best-selling vehicle.
Et Tu, CR-V?
Before its debut, numerous spy shot reports claimed that the CR-V would not only adopt a three-row setup but also a plug-in hybrid variant. And that actually isn’t unreasonable at all.
Its closest rival Toyota RAV4 managed to boost its sales by more than 10 percent because of its hybrid variant, which proves that consumers do believe in hybrid crossovers. Even the Nissan Rogue has gone down this path, so why not the CR-V?
At this point it seems that Honda really doesn’t believe in that hybridization doesn’t mix with utility, otherwise it would make sense for the Odyssey, CR-V, and even the Pilot to be accompanied by more fuel economic clones.
The automaker, however, does appear to believe that hybrid sedans would do well. This is evinced by the recently revived Accord Hybrid and the upcoming plug-in hybrid that’s supposedly based on the Clarity FCV.
So if Honda’s top-seller isn’t up for hybridization, what more its minivan? Do you think a (plug-in) hybrid CR-V or Odyssey would ever arrive to the US market?