Just days away from the start of London Congestion Charging, Honda underlines its commitment to the environment in the most dramatic way possible by creating a grass Honda Civic. This ultra-low emission car – which makes use of photosynthesis to liberate free oxygen from airborne carbon dioxide and thus negate tailpipe CO2 emissions – follows on from the Honda Dream solar car in the pursuit of a truly ecological solution for road transport.
Or, it could be just a publicity seeking venture to draw attention to Honda’s more worthy environmental initiatives?
Underneath the grass this is no ordinary Civic: it is the latest example of Honda’s 4 door Civic with IMA Inside, a development of the petrol electric system pioneered with the Honda Insight. The system comprises a 1.4 litre petrol engine teamed with a powerful electric motor/generator sandwiched between the engine and gearbox. The main battery is maintenance free and located in the boot behind the rear seat.
The electric motor boosts engine power during acceleration or hill climbing, enabling the car to perform like a bigger engined model. The motor acts as a generator when braking or descending hills – the idea being to store energy released during braking, to be re-used during later acceleration. So instead of energy being lost in the form of heat when the car’s brakes are applied, the energy is stored as electrical energy in the battery.
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