By Richard Aucock
It’s all thanks to Honda’s e:Technology being so brilliant, I had to ask for a video explaining it to take away and watch later.
Every new Jazz is a hybrid, badged e:HEV, with not one but two electric motors. It’s the same technology already seen in the Honda CR-V Hybrid and is part of Honda’s strategy to electrify every mainstream car it sells by 2022.
One electric motor is an electricity generator: this one is connected to the engine. The other provides propulsion drive: this is connected to the wheels. There is no mechanical link between engine and wheels and, remarkably, no gearbox.
While it sounds complex and futuristic, it’s actually beautifully simple. Instead of onboard batteries, it’s the ultra-efficient 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle engine generating electricity for propulsion. Need more propulsion? The engine runs harder. Need less? It eases off – or, more often than not, shuts down completely. There’s a battery that stores electricity too, so you can pull away engine off.
If you don’t want the science lesson, all you need to know is this: it turns the Jazz into a petrol car that thinks it’s electric. Any chance it gets, it runs with the engine off, surging forward like an EV. And as electric motors deliver a far bigger kick, more quickly than petrol, it makes the new Jazz a genuinely speedy city slicker.