Hybrid Cars | i-MMD Engine Technology | Honda UK

Honda Hybrid Technology

The power of two


Honda product logo.

A formula for the future.

Honda Hybrids deliver responsive performance, excellent economy with much lower emissions.

A blueprint for a greener future

Honda Hybrid cars

Keeping up with the ever-increasing demand to meet lower emission standards for modern-day driving requirements is so important today – and for tomorrow’s environmentally-conscious world.

New regulations have already affected the cost of driving and they will continue to do so in future. The time for hybrid power is now, and hybrids will become even more popular as time goes on, because they cars deliver higher fuel efficiency with lower CO2 emissions compared with traditional petrol-powered vehicles. Quite simply, hybrids are here to stay.

Hybrid cars by Honda

We’ll continue to develop hybrid vehicles in an aim to achieve a low carbon society.

Our expertise developing hybrid over the years has been built on creativity, innovation and continual improvement. We first introduced hybrid powertrain technology with the Insight in 1999 and ever since, we’ve made significant improvements by developing these technologies.

Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

Currently in the NSX, our next generation four wheel drive system, in which the vehicle has a petrol engine that works with a large electric motor in the front and two electric motors at the rear. This particular hybrid powertrain contributes to the corners and braking performance. We don’t call it Super Handling – All-Wheel Drive for nothing.

Honda Hybrid Performance i-MMD

A highly responsive, super-smooth driving experience from a system that thinks for itself.

Front facing Hybrid Honda NSX parked in garage location.

The awesome NSX; our super-hybrid with Super handling all-wheel-drive. It uses the immediate torque response produced by the system’s three electric motor units, combined with a V6 petrol engine for astonishing levels of performance and handling.

Front facing Honda CR-V driving through mountain location.

The Honda CR-V. The world’s most popular SUV is all set become even more popular when it arrives in Europe.

We call it the intelligent Multi Mode Drive and it will switch between three modes, depending on the driving situation and the type of road you happen to be travelling on.

Double power

In simple terms, our advanced hybrid vehicles combine the benefits of petrol engines with electric motors. They’re designed to give you much better economy by coupling a fuel-efficient petrol engine, with power from electric motors. They work in harmony, blending seamlessly to deliver smooth power and responsive acceleration when you need it.

Our new Hybrid SUV

The all-new Honda CR-V Hybrid.

Using the i-MMD two motor system, we’ve manufactured our first mainstream hybrid SUV, to be sold in Europe, in the shape of the all-new Honda CR-V. Well known for its premium quality, versatility and class-leading spaciousness, this new CR-V – built around an 2.0 litre petrol engine and our unique hybrid powertrain – is all set to take you much further, for a lot less, to the next horizon… and beyond.

Side view of Honda CR-V Hybrid car.

Driving force

Honda Hybrid performance.

Front view of NSX's Direct Drive Motor units.

The NSX’s Direct Drive Motor units are part of the most technologically advanced road car engine we’ve ever built.

The Honda i-MMD hybrid powertrain delivers a strong immediate response through two electric motors; it’s an exhilarating drive. But it’s not all about electronic torque, because our hybrid vehicles give you the best of both worlds. This type of intelligent drive technology will automatically switch seamlessly between electric power at lower speeds and petrol-power at higher cruising speeds, when it’s most efficient to do so. You don’t have to do a thing.

Smooth and quiet

The experience of driving a Honda hybrid is unique, there’s nothing quite like the calm and serene feeling of gently pulling away in the electric mode. Then, when the petrol engine comes to life, the transition is so quiet and smooth, you’ll wonder if the engine has actually started.

No need to plug in

The great thing about the hybrid is that you don’t need to look for a charging station, or have a special plug socket installed at home. The engine will continually charge the battery while it’s running – all you have to do is fill up with petrol as you normally would. It really is that simple. We imagine you’ll be filling up a lot less as well.

Going lower

A hybrid will cut your fuel bills, saving you money. Using less fuel also means low emissions – much better for your wallet and the environment.

Peace of mind

You’ll have no worries for 5 years or 90,000 miles whichever comes first – because the Honda i-MMD battery is totally covered by an extensive and comprehensive warranty; we’ll be with you all the way.

Clever hybrid - how it works

It thinks for itself.

Side view close-up of intelligent Multi Mode Drive system.

The i-MMD (intelligent Multi Mode Drive) system determines how to use fuel and electrical energy in the most efficient way, which means there’s no requirement for the driver to adjust between the three driving modes; Electric Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive.

How Hybrid works in Electric Drive

In Electric Drive, the propulsion motor draws its power solely from the batteries, delivering super-quiet and low-emissions driving.

How Hybrid Drive works

In Hybrid Drive, the petrol engine supplies power to the electric generator motor, which in turn delivers power to the electric propulsion motor, so that any excess power from the petrol engine is diverted back through the generator motor to recharge the batteries.

How Hybrid works in Engine Drive

In Engine Drive, the wheels are driven by the petrol engine, with an ‘on-demand’ peak-power ‘boost’ available from the electric motor, ideal when you need to make a quick overtaking manoeuvre.

Honda Hybrid Drive modes in action

In most urban driving situations, the vehicle will move between Hybrid Drive and Electric Drive for optimum efficiency.

Honda Hybrid drive modes video.

Honda Hybrid FAQs

What is hybrid technology and how does it work?

Honda Hybrid logo close up.

Well, that’s quite a lot to take in all at once, so we’ll try and break it down into smaller sections – questions you may well ask – to give you a better idea how Honda Hybrid technology works.

What happens when I start the car?

When the vehicle starts, the petrol engine turns the electric motor, which at this point acts as a generator. It converts energy from the engine into electricity and stores it in the battery.

How and when does the car only use electric power?

For initial acceleration and slow-speed driving, as well as reverse, the electric motor uses electricity from the battery to power the vehicle. (You can creep away from your house early in the morning without waking the neighbours). If the battery needs to be recharged the engine will start up and the generator will convert energy from the engine into electricity again, storing it in the battery.

How  does the petrol engine charge the battery?

The petrol engine is at its most efficient at cruising speeds and really comes into its own at this point; it powers the vehicle while providing power to charge the battery for later use.

Do I need to plug it in?

There’s no need for you to charge a Honda Hybrid. It uses excess energy from the petrol engine and from regenerative braking to keep a constant state of charge going – as long as the engine is running, it’s making electricity and storing it in the battery.

What happens when I need to overtake quickly?

For quick acceleration or when additional power is needed, the petrol engine and electric motor are both used to propel the vehicle. When the accelerator pedal is pressed the car draws on additional power from the battery to power the electric motor for that extra oomph!

What is regenerative braking?

Regenerative braking converts otherwise wasted energy from braking into electricity and stores it in the battery. In this type braking, the electric motor is reversed so that instead of using electricity to turn the wheels, the rotating wheels turn the motor to create electricity.