Japanese carmaker Honda plans to invest five trillion yen (£30 billion/$40 billion/€37 billion), over half of the company’s eight trillion yen (£49 billion/$64 billion/€59 billion) budget for the period, in electric vehicles over the next decade.
The company has the goal to produce two million electric vehicles a year by 2030. Back in 2020, Honda cut ties with Formula One to concentrate on and invest in its electric car development.
As the world’s largest power unit manufacturer with annual sales of approximately 30 million units of mobility products including motorcycles, automobiles, power products, outboard motors and aircraft, the company is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050.
Honda believes that a multifaceted and multidimensional approach is needed, not a just replacing of engines with batteries. This includes the utilisation of swappable batteries and hydrogen as well as electrification of automobiles. Honda will offer a variety of solutions for all of its mobility products according to how its customers use the products in various countries and regions.
During the first half of this decade, Honda will ensure stable procurement of lithium-ion batteries. In North America, Honda will procure Ultium batteries from General Motors (GM) and is also exploring the possibility of creating a joint venture company for battery production.
In China, Honda will further strengthen its collaboration with CATL for batteries and in Japan will procure batteries for mini electric vehicles from Envision AESC. In the second half of the decade, Honda will further accelerate its independent research and development of next-generation batteries.
Honda will also build a demonstration line for the production of all-solid-state batteries with an investment of approximately 43 billion yen (£263 million/$342 million/€315 million), with a goal to make it operational in spring 2024. The company aims to fit its next-generation batteries into models that will be introduced to the market in the second half of the 2020s.
In terms of electric vehicles by region, Honda plans to introduce two mid to large size electric models in the USA, which we brought you news of last week and are currently being developed jointly with GM. In China, the company plans to introduce 10 new electric vehicle models by 2027.
In early 2024, Honda will first introduce a commercial-use mini electric vehicle model in Japan. This will be an affordable small urban electric vehicle in the one-million-yen price (£6,100/$8,000/€7,300) range. Following this, the company is planning to introduce personal-use mini electric vehicles and electric sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
In 2026, Honda will begin adopting Honda e: Architecture, an electric vehicle platform that combines the hardware platform and software platform. Through its alliance with GM, Honda is planning to introduce affordable electric vehicles in 2027. These are expected to offer a cost and range that will be as competitive as gasoline-powered vehicles, starting from North America.
In terms of production, Honda is planning to build a dedicated EV plant in Guangzhou as well as Wuhan in China. The company is also planning a dedicated EV production line in North America.
All of this shows that the Japanese carmaker plans to invest heavily in electric vehicles and sees electric as the future of automobiles. We look forward to seeing what they produce. If Honda’s current electric model, the Honda e, is anything to go by, we can expect something special.