MONTREAL, Quebec (May 12, 2009) – In its last third of a cross-country tour, the “Insight Into Canada” tour left Parliament Hill Monday morning, May 11, en route to Montreal’s biosphere. On April 21, during Earth Week, a 2010 Honda Insight EX hybrid car – designated “Insight Canada 1” as the first Insight to be registered in Canada – departed from Trans-Canada Highway Mile Marker Zero in Victoria to be driven across Canada by journalists in search of environmental initiatives that are being reported on and updated daily. The reports feature a ‘narrative’ by the Insight Canada 1 car posted on a special website – www.insightintocanada.ca.
Journalists from across the country are driving a total of two dozen separate legs during the month-long “Insight Into Canada” journey that ends May 22 at Trans-Canada Highway Mile Marker Zero in St. John’s, Nfld. On each leg, the journalists are checking the “environmental pulse” of Canadians, visiting environmental locations and inspirational people who are trying to lessen our country's carbon footprint, reduce energy use or improve recycling efforts.
Saluting a group of school children on Vancouver Island who saved a marsh from destruction, visiting an off-the-grid eco village in Craik, Saskatchewan, and learning about the environmental student outreach of Earth Rangers and the energy-saving aspects of its LEED-gold certified headquarters at the Kortright Consevation Area in Woodbridge, ON, are just a few of the things keeping journalists busy on various legs of the journey as they check the “environmental pulse” of Canadians.
Ottawa journalist Paul Williams, who writes for CanadianDriver.com, achieved a fuel economy average of 3.8 L/100km (74 mpg) with a full tank of gasoline, starting at Parliament Hill and ending at Montreal’s Biosphere.
“I drove at or near the speed limit,” Mr. Williams said, “but looked for every opportunity to cruise with power from the electric battery only and the gasoline engine off. The car's Eco Assist system was very helpful in optimizing fuel economy." The 218-kilometre drive included both city and highway driving. The Transport Canada fuel economy rating for the 2010 Honda Insight is 4.5 L/100km (highway) and 4.8 L/100km (city).
According to Jerry Chenkin, executive vice president of Honda Canada Inc., “The Honda Insight – Canada’s most affordable hybrid vehicle – is an ideal vehicle to make this celebratory cross-country venture with its fuel-efficient hybrid system, full complement of safety features and fun-to-drive character.
“Besides making sound environmental sense with higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions, the affordable Honda Insight allows hybrid technology to make financial sense for a greater number of Canadians."
The all-new Honda Insight hybrid 5-passenger hatchback went on sale on Earth Day, April 22, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $23,900 for the Insight LX. A premium version – Insight EX – is available with an MSRP of $27,500, and adds Honda’s Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Bilingual Voice Recognition; Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®); Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®; special alloy wheels; steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters; an upgraded audio system; and more.
The Insight introduces Honda’s Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist™) to help drivers achieve improved real-world fuel economy. Eco Assist™ is a feature designed to help drivers optimize fuel efficiency for their given set of driving conditions. Pressing a dash-mounted ECON button further enhances the efficiency of multiple vehicle systems, including throttle control, CVT operation, idle-stop duration, air conditioning and cruise-control operation.
Eco Assist™ also provides feedback to Insight drivers about their driving style via a 3D-appearing background within the speedometer. The background changes colours from blue to green to reflect how efficiently or inefficiently the driver is accelerating or braking.
Honda Canada, now in its 40th year of operation in Canada, manufactures the Honda Civic sedan and coupe, and the Acura CSX and MDX at its two plants in Alliston, Ontario, and produces fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines at its engine plant adjacent to the Honda manufacturing facilities.