Honda reportedly plans to drive in at least two battery-powered SUVs in the US market by 2024 in order to be better positioned towards the changing preference towards electric vehicles (EVs) here. Looking at comply with emissions-reduction targets, the Japanese car maker realizes the larger role that EVs will play in the times to come.
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While Honda does offer hybrid gas-electric versions of its top-selling models for the US market, plans of selling fully electric vehicles are a significant step towards taking on rivals like Toyota, Volkswagen and even Tesla who either have a lead or are looking at creating a mark in the EV space.
Dave Gardner, Sales Chief at Honda of America, is learnt to have told reporters that while the top of the two EVs will be made by Honda, the underpinnings will come from a partnership with General Motors. It has also been outlined that while one of the two electric SUVs would be under the Honda brand name, the other would be under Acura. "We've got to now focus all of our energies in this direction in order to meet timelines," he was quoted as saying.
Gardner has also reportedly admitted that Honda isn't making a mark in the EV space yet but that the car maker is focused on being carbon-neutral by 2050.
Electric SUVs may just be what the market ordered as apart from the fact that many buyers are now looking at a cleaner mobility option, there is also a growing preference for SUVs and pickups in the US market. But does Honda have what it takes to ace this particular segment? "We're really good at a couple of things that seem to be going out of vogue today, so there's no doubt that we have work to start moving quickly in the zero-emission direction," Gardner said.
At a time when EV sales still account for a minor fraction of total car sales in the US, it may not seem like much to go by. But the share is expected to increase rapidly in 2021 and especially in the next few years.
(With inputs from AP)