Tax Friendly Civic Gets A Powershift Boost | Part Two

When the Civic IMA is going downhill (with the engine on the over-run) or its brakes are applied, the electric-assist motor becomes a generator, converting forward momentum (kinetic energy) into electrical energy, instead of wasting it as heat during conventional braking. Energy is stored in the system's Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack located behind the rear seat in the boot. If the charge state of the IMA battery is low, the motor generator will also recharge while the vehicle is cruising. At no time does the Civic IMA need to be 'plugged in' to an external power source, as with a pure electric car.

The net result is a comfortable 5-seater saloon which achieves an EU Combined Cycle fuel consumption of 57.6 mpg, with CO2 emissions of 116 g/km. Plus the IMA model retains all of the Civic family’s class-leading safety, performance, refined handling characteristics, reliability and legendary build quality

With the benefit of the £1000 Powershift grant, £75 per annum (Band AA) VED rate, 12% BIK tax band and 100% discount from the London Congestion charge, there are some persuasive financial reasons to consider purchase of the Civic IMA.

Honda anticipates that demand for the car will easily exceed the first year allocation of 500 units, with a further 1500 planned for 2004. Such volume, while small in absolute terms is likely to make the Civic IMA a very significant player in the 'Aternative Fuel' road car category. Last year the sector accounted for less than 3000 sales in total, comprising mainly dual fuel petrol / electric vehicles.

The top 5 sellers in 2002 were as follows.

Vauxhall Astra petrol / LPG 1144
Volvo S/V40 Series petrol / LPG 487
Toyota Prius petrol / electric 291
Vauxhall Vectra petrol / LPG 261
Volvo V70 Series petrol/LPG 154
Published 3 May 2003 Melanie Carter

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