Japan's Honda Commits to Selling Only Electric Vehicles by 2040
Japan's Honda Motor Co is ramping up its electric vehicles plans. At his inaugural press conference, newly appointed Honda President and Representative Director Toshihiro Mibe shared the company's timeline to end the production of internal combustion engine powered vehicles.
Honda is the latest automaker to make the commitment to switch to producing only electric vehicles, following General Motors' announcement to go 100% electric by 2035 and Swedish automaker Volvo Cars' plans to go all electric by 2030.
In North America, Honda plans to increase the ratio of battery-electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCVs) to 40%, by 2030, to 80% by 2035, and then to 100% globally by 2040. The goals are the same for the China market, which is the world's biggest auto market.
For the China market, Honda plans to introduce ten EV models within five years. The first of the models will be an SUV which is scheduled to go on sale in spring 2022.
In Honda's home country of Japan, the company's plans are more aggressive. The automaker aims to only sell electric vehicles by 2030, matching the goal of Volvo.
The first of Honda's new electric vehicles will be launched in 2024 in North America.
Honda and General Motors are jointly developing two full-size EV models using GM's Ultium batteries. The two new electric models will debut in 2024, one under the Honda brand and the other under Honda's luxury unit Acura.
Honda to Develop an all-new EV platform Called "e:Architecture"
Starting from the second half of the 2020s, Honda will launch a series of new EV models built on an entirely new EV platform Honda calls "e:Architecture." The first of these models will be introduced to the North American market, then in other regions of the world.
Honda intends to source its EV batteries locally. For the procurement of batteries, the company will strive to realize a "local production and local procurement" approach in Japan, which it anticipates will contribute to the growth of domestic industries in Japan.
Honda also plans to use solid state batteries in its future EVs. Mibe said that Honda is conducting independent research on all-solid-state batteries as the next generation batteries that can be produced at scale for low cost.
Honda will begin the verification of the production of solid state batteries using a demonstration line starting this year. The company aims to offer solid-state batteries in Honda EV models beginning in the second half of the decade.
In July of last year, Honda announced it was buying a 1% stake in Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL). The two companies said in a statement they will jointly develop batteries for Honda's future EVs.
Honda also plans to deploy the Cruise autonomous shuttle in Japan in the mid 2020's for a commercial robotaxi service. The Cruise shuttle was unveiled by GM's autonomous driving unit Cruise in Jan 2020. It's being built in a joint effort by Honda, General Motors and Cruise.
GM and Cruise plan to launch their own commercial transportation service in the U.S. using the origin shuttle as well as a fleet of Autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs.
Honda and GM announced an alliance in Sept 2020 to develop electrified vehicles as well as new propulsion technologies. As part of the partnership, the two automakers will share vehicle platforms for fully-electric and combustion engine powered models.
To support Honda's electrification plans, the company is increasing spending on R&D. Honda will invest a total of approximately 5 trillion yen (US$46.3 billion) on R&D expenses over the next six years.
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