In massive move, Honda aims to sell only electric vehicles by 2040

Japanese auto major Honda Cars has decided to shift away from traditional ICE vehicles and step on the gas to move faster towards electric cars. Honda's new CEO Toshihiro Mibe held his first press conference after taking charge and outlined his plans for the company, core to which is its pursuit to become carbon neutral.

A Honda SUV e:Prototype electric vehicle is seen displayed during the Shanghai Auto Show. (REUTERS)
A Honda SUV e:Prototype electric vehicle is seen displayed during the Shanghai Auto Show.

Mibe said that Honda aims to sell only electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles by 2040. He said, "Honda will work comprehensively to address challenges in the areas of the environment and safety. At the same time, for the future, Honda will strive to lead advancements which will be made in the areas of mobility, the power unit, energy and robotics."

He also provided a breakup of how Honda aims to achieve the target. The Japanese carmaker will first try toincrease the ratio of battery-electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles in all major markets to 40% of its overall sales within 2030, to 80% by 2035,and finally stop selling any vehicles run on conventional fuel by 2040.

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Though the target seems a bit ambitious, Mibe said, "These are challenging targets, and to attain them, we must put forth a collective effort of our entire value chain. However, we decided to set high goals so that all of us share the vision of what we are trying to accomplish and take on challenges toward the realisation of our goals."

Honda launched its first electric vehicle Honda e last year. It is a small, compact model meant solely for city driving, with a battery capacity roughly half that of the Model 3, driving just 280 kilometres per charge. Earlier this week, the Honda e won the World Urban Car of the Year award. Honda e and Honda Jazz e:HEV are currently playing important roles in the Japanese carmaker's commitment to electrify 100% of its mainstream European automobile range by 2022.

Honda has also unveiled the SUV e: prototype at Shanghai Auto Show recently. It is the first of the 10 EV models the carmaker plans to launch in China in the next five years.

Besides four-wheelers, Honda will also focus on electrification of its two-wheeler range as well. It also aims to launch three new EV models in the category in the next three years.

Mibe said, "For personal-use customers, we must not only enhance our product lineup but also make a large number of battery-swapping stations available and ensure convenience to users by making them compatible with EVs of other makers. To this end, Honda has established a consortium with other motorcycle OEMs in Japan and Europe, respectively, to develop technology standards for swappable batteries. Honda has a vision to expand Mobile Power Pack applications beyond motorcycles to power products and micro-mobility products. With this vision, we have begun demonstration testing in India using “rickshaw" type tricycle taxis."

Besides these initiatives, Honda also plans to reduce traffic collision fatalities to zero by 2050. To meet the target, Honda aims to strengthen its research on safety technologies that enable motorcycles and cars to 'safely coexist and lead the way in realising a collision-free society'.

First Published Date: 23 Apr 2021, 15:08 PM IST
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