News Releases 2005

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Power Products
November 2, 2005

Honda Releases the HSM1590i-World's First Mid-Size Hybrid Snowblower with Electronically Controlled Switchable Operating Modes

November 2, 2005—Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the release of the HSM1590i mid-size hybrid snowblower (max. output: 15hp). The new model introduces technology that enables users to handle conditions by switching between three operating modes during snow removal (a world first), enhancing ease of use for beginners and experienced users alike. The snowblower will debut Monday, December 12, 2005 at Honda power products dealers throughout Japan.

The HSM1590i features Honda's iGX440 engine (max. output: 15hp; displacement: 438cm3), the world’s first single-cylinder general purpose engine to feature a new electronic STR governor2. The combination of electronic engine-speed control technology and Honda's hybrid technology, and the exchange of data between the snowblower ECU and the engine ECU allows for the regulation travel speed and throttle opening so that engine speed is maintained relative to load conditions. These new technologies have enabled Honda to provide the HSM1590i snowblower with a function (STi control) for switching between three selectable operating modes—auto mode, power mode, and manual mode—with the simple turn of a dial, allowing users at any level of experience to select the mode that best suits their needs.

Key Features of the HSM1590i

  • The world's first snowblower with a function (STi control) for switching between operating modes:
(1)Auto mode : Automatically adjusts travel speed and engine speed to match operating conditions. Ideal for inexperienced users, this mode minimizes the need to operate levers and other controls during snow removal (e.g., engine speed regulation lever, forward/reverse speed lever, and auger housing control switch).
(2)Power mode : Automatically reduces travel speed in response to work load, and maintains maximum power output from the engine. Users set the snow discharge distance3 (up to 21 meters),4 and the engine maintains maximum power output based on the specified snow discharge distance, ensuring high operating efficiency.
(3)Manual mode : This mode is ideal for users who prefer the feel of the conventional model.
  • The world's first1 snowblower featuring a function for maintaining a constant snow discharge distance (in auto mode and power mode). Snow discharge distance is maintained by automatically adjusting travel speed in response to the work load, and by maintaining a constant engine speed with the new electronic STR governor. This function makes it easy to discharge cleared snow to the target location.

In November 2001, Honda introduced the world's first snowblower to feature Honda's original hybrid technology that combines a gasoline engine to power the snowblower apparatus with electric motors for forward propulsion. Since then, cumulative sales of hybrid snowblowers has reached 20,594 units.5 The introduction of the HSM1590i will expand Honda's lineup of small and mid-size hybrid snowblowers to six models, which in turn will help Honda’s initiative to expand the market for snowblowers.

  • 1.Honda calculations
  • 2.STR(Self tuning regulator) governor: Electronic engine-speed control technology that allows the engine's electronic control unit (ECU) to continuously monitor throttle opening and engine speed, and electronically control throttle opening to maintain a constant set engine speed even under changing engine load conditions.
    Governor: A device that regulates engine speed (maintaining a constant engine speed, regardless of load fluctuations)
  • 3.Set according to engine speed
  • 4.Varies according to snow quality
  • 5.Total sales in Japan as of September-end 2005, according to Honda calculations
  • 6.Target unit sales from December 2005 to March 2006 may change due to production conditions.
Mid-size hybrid snowblower HSM1590i

Mid-size hybrid snowblower HSM1590i

Annual sales target (Japan): 500 units6
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price  HSM1590i ¥942,900 (¥898,000 before consumption tax)

Key Features of the HSM1590i

<Hybrid concept drawing>
Hybrid system drive power flow

  • The world's first snowblower with a function (STi control) for switching operating modes: (1)Auto mode (2)Power mode (3)Manual mode
  • The hybrid configuration combines a gasoline engine that simultaneously drives the snowblower apparatus and charges the battery, with electric motors for forward propulsion.
  • Independent right and left electric motor-driven turning levers and computerized control ensures easy operation and smooth, nimble turning without release of the hand grips.
  • One of the crawlers can be made to rotate in reverse when turning at low speed, enabling the snowblower to turn on the spot (with an ultra small turning radius).
  • Operation is simplified by an automatic fuel valve7 that eliminates the bothersome task of opening and closing the fuel valve at engine startup and shutdown, and an automatic choke8 that needs no adjustment.
  • The HSM1590i is equipped with the world's first9 mechanism for returning the auger housing to a horizontal position. Pushing the reset button automatically returns the auger housing to horizontal alignment with the main unit, eliminating the need to perform this task manually, which requires some skill. Users can also store preferred auger housing positions in memory.
  • When traveling in reverse, the auger housing automatically lifts, and then automatically lowers to its original position when forward travel is resumed (in auto mode and power mode when snow removal clutch is engaged).
  • The 2-stage electric shooter makes it easy to adjust the placement of discharged snow.
  • 7.Automatic fuel valve: a device that automatically turns the fuel supply on and off in accordance with engine operation
  • 8.Auto choke: a device that automatically activates the choke as needed in response to ambient and engine temperatures to improve engine startup
  • 9.Honda calculations

<Snow Removal>

  • The redesigned auger housing cover and auger side discs significantly improve performance in deep and crusted snow. The new design enables the HSM1590i to remove crusted snow in about 30%10 less time than earlier models11 (in power mode), achieving top-level12 snow removal performance among mid-sized snowblowers.
  • The world's first snowblower featuring a function for maintaining a constant snow discharge distance (in auto mode and power mode).
  • The 220 mm auger height, among the highest among mid-size snowblowers, makes it easy to remove deep snow in stages, and facilitates agile travel motion.
  • The new blower housing design reduces wind noise when the blower is idle.
  • 10.Compared with the earlier model HS1390i, when removing snow 50 – 70 cm deep with a specific gravity of 0.45 – 0.6
  • 11.The HS1390i, an earlier model
  • 12.Models in Honda's snowblower lineup weighing 200 – 300 kilograms that are equipped with 9 – 15 horsepower gasoline engines


  • The self-diagnostic function automatically diagnoses problems during startup and operation. If the oil level is too low when the snow blower is stopped, a warning lamp is activated and engine startup is prevented by an interlock. If the oil level is too low when the snowblower is in operation, a new oil alert function activates a warning lamp.
  • A large fuel port for gasoline makes refueling a snap, and an oil filler cap makes it easy to check the engine oil level.
  • The drive system of the snowblower apparatus features an electromagnetic clutch and twin auger belts for improved durability.
  • The snowblower uses a standard compact car battery to keep the cost of battery replacement low.

<Safety and Comfort>

  • An electric, low-load deadman clutch automatically stops the snowblower if the hand grips are released during operation.
  • When indoors or out of fuel, convenient battery-powered propulsion allows users to move the snowblower exclusively with its electric motors, without running the engine.
  • A powerful, 40 W, high-intensity light to facilitate operation at night is provided as standard equipment.
  • A convenient toolbox is provided.

<Environmental performance>

  • The iGX440 engine boasts environmental performance among the best in the world, achieving emissions levels approximately 30% lower13 than those stipulated in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Phase 2 emission standards and the California Air Resources Board's Tier II emissions standards—the most stringent in the world.
  • Fuel economy has been improved over earlier model engines by approximately 22%14 (in auto mode).
  • Noise has been reduced by approximately 4dB(A),15 earning the iGX440 its ranking as one of the quietest among mid-size engines (in auto mode).
  • The world's first13 snowblower equipped with an auto-idling function for improved fuel economy and reduced noise.
  • 13.Honda calculations
  • 14.Fuel consumption of the HSM1590i compared with the earlier model HS1390i, operating (in auto mode), and clearing snow from the same-sized area
  • 15.Noise level when operating at maximum snowblowing power (right and left average values at a distance of 7 meters)


Model HSM1590i
L x W x H (mm) 1,740×920×1,340
Outfitted weight (kg) 273
Engine Engine model iGX440
Engine Type Air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder gasoline engine (OHC)
Maximum output [kW(PS)/rpm] 11.2(15)/3,600
Displacement(cm3) 438
Fuel type Automotive-grade unleaded gasoline
Starter Self starter
Fuel tank capacity (L) 5.3
Snowblower apparatus Clearing mechanism 2-stage
Clearing width (mm) 920
Clearing height (mm) 580
Maximum clearing capacity (ton/h) 92
Maximum discharge distance (m) 21
Chute turning radius/vertical adjustment Right: 110° Left: 130° Vertical: 110°
Auger clutch type Electromagnetic clutch brake
Service light 24V-40W
Drive apparatus Drive type Twin right/left independent electric motors
Turning Regenerative brake turning (with turning speed reduction system)
Crawler High-traction crawler
Controls Auger height adjustment Electro-hydraulic
Shooter control Electric full remote
Drive clutch Electric low-load lever
Snowblowing clutch Electric lever
Transmission speeds Dual electric motors, infinitely variable
Battery 24V (28B17R) (two)