Honda was one of the early adopters of hybrid tech in PH market

If memory serves, Toyota was actually the first major automotive company to offer hybrids in the Philippines when they launched the third-generation Prius in 2009. Honda, however, wasn't too far behind when they launched their first hybrid in 2013: the CR-Z.

But if you look at the Honda lineup now in the Philippines, there are no hybrids anymore. One of the early proponents of hybrid drive technology in the country has phased out all their electrified models, but that may change soon.

During the launch of the Honda HR-V in Taguig last week, HCPI General Manager Atty. Louie Soriano stated that electrification is the plan for Honda. He did not say when they will restart with hybrids or even other electrified vehicles, but he did allude that the company is just waiting for the right time to do it.

Honda waiting to re-launch hybrid cars in PH image

HCPI's GM did make it clear that Honda already has the technology and the vehicles to do so. Internationally, Honda offers a lot of hybrid models as well as fully-electric vehicles. There are hybrid versions of the CR-V, Civic, City, and even the new HR-V, and these come with the new generation e:HEV hybrid systems. They also have the Honda e which is a pure electric hatchback. Presumably, the company is waiting for legislation that will help reduce the price of these vehicles, and/or the emergence of more charging stations so that EVs could be more feasible to own and run.

As early as 2012, Honda already had a few hybrid units in the Philippines with the Insight and the CR-Z, though these were not yet officially being sold at the time. That changed the following year when, in August 2013, Honda Cars Philippines launched the CR-Z Hybrid. Two years later, they followed it up with the launch of the Honda Legend Hybrid.

Honda Hybrid PH image

There are many reasons why Honda's hybrid lineup in the Philippines wasn't sustained for very long. In the case of the CR-Z, Honda used a technology called IMA or Integrated Motor Assist. This approach to hybrid only offered a power boost to help the 1.5L internal combustion engine along. This differs greatly from the switching series/parallel hybrid that Toyota uses in most of their vehicles that allows for EV only driving if the battery level permits.

The vehicle wasn't particularly quick as a Sports Hybrid given the engine and the hybrid system, though it was more efficient as the IMA functioned as an idling stop system when in traffic. The CR-Z was eventually discontinued in 2016.

In the case of the Legend, well they did sell it with a better 3-motor hybrid system. Good and interesting as it may be, it was priced at PHP 4.39 million in 2015. To put that price in perspective now: you can get a BMW 5-Series for PHP 4.29 million in 2022.