2014: The year Honda goes green

May 21, 2014 12:00 AM

Increasingly, motorists are becoming more aware of the impact that their cars can have on the environment, and as such, many are prioritizing vehicle maintenance as well as looking for green options that can minimize their eco-footprint. Not only do these automobiles give environmentally-conscious drivers peace of mind, but as they are more fuel-efficient, they can save a substantial amount of money at the pump. Especially with gas prices on the rise, this is a worthy consideration for consumers on a budget.

A green trend
Many brands, including Tesla, Audi, Nissan, Chevy and Volkswagen, have responded to this surging demand for green vehicles by designing more plug-ins and hybrids. Automakers also face the federal government's new average fuel efficiency standard of 35.5 mph for all cars and light trucks, which they are required to meet by 2016. By 2025, those vehicles must achieve 54.5 mpg, meaning things are bound to keep getting better for motorists concerned with fuel economy. One manufacturer in particular that is honing its efforts in this regard is Honda - and its efforts have proved fruitful.

One of Honda's most popular cars is the Accord - in fact, it's one of the best-selling hybrids in the entire country. They're moving out of dealerships so fast that the company has actually had issues supplying enough of them in showrooms. In the first quarter of 2014 alone, more than 4,000 Accords were bought. With a projected 50 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, it has already exceeded the minimum requirement for 2016 and has almost reached the? standard for 2025. Certainly, it's a viable option for cutting costs in the face of potential gas price spikes. The automaker isn't stopping there - Honda has already designed multiple models of the 2014 Civic, including a natural gas Hybrid and the HF, a high-effiency gas model.

Accolades and appreciation
This emphasis on eco-friendly design has not gone unnoticed, either. Autonet reported that the Honda Accord Hybrid was recently awarded the honor of Top Green Car for 2014 at the Canadian Green Car Awards in Toronto, beating out the Nissan Leaf, Mazda5, Ford C-MAX Energi, Mazda3 2.0-litre, and Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid. Automotive journalists selected the Accord based on its fuel efficiency, but also its overall consumer appeal and other features.

"It is an honor to have our Accord Hybrid recognized by so many of Canada's most respected journalists," said Dave Gardner, vice president of sales and marketing for Honda Canada, as quoted by the source. "Joining the award-winning Accord family and sharing the fun-to-drive performance, sophisticated styling and premium comfort features of the Accord sedan, the Accord Hybrid offers a no compromise vehicle for the extreme fuel saver."

The sales say it all
Not only are brands like Honda achieving significant acclaim for the push toward environmentally-friendly vehicles, but the consumer response to this transition has been overwhelmingly positive. According to a report by Autoblog, American motorists were buying electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and diesel cars at an astounding rate in 2013. In fact, automakers pushed a staggering 664,222 green cars in the U.S. last year, a 21 percent jump from just one year prior. Even more remarkable is the fact that plug-in sales spiked a whopping 90 percent between 2012 and 2013.

While the Toyota Prius continues to be a popular model, Autoblog noted that Ford and Nissan actually came out on top - both more than doubled their sales from the year before. Additionally, Honda proved its also a major player in the green car realm. The news source explained that newer options like the Plug-in Hybrid and Accord Hybrid both helped to increase sales by 13 percent in 2013. The automaker managed to move 20,616 units of those models, as well as 7,719 Civic Hybrids and 4,500 units each of the CR-Z and Insight

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