Japanese automaker Honda revs up on EVs, aiming for lucrative US, China markets

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Honda, the Japanese automaker known for its Acura and Civic sedans, is making a big push into electric vehicles (EVs). On Thursday, Honda reaffirmed its commitment to EVs, announcing a massive investment of 10 trillion yen (approximately $65 billion) through fiscal 2031. This investment aims to deliver a range of EV models worldwide, including in the U.S. and China.

Honda believes that EVs are the most effective solution for small mobility products like motorcycles and automobiles. By 2030, the company plans for battery EVs (BEVs) and fuel cell EVs (FCEVs) to account for 40% of its global auto sales. It also aims to have the global production capacity to manufacture more than 2 million EVs.

A key part of Honda’s EV strategy is the introduction of the “0 Series,” which CEO Toshihiro Mibe described as a completely new EV series starting from “zero.” The 0 Series will debut in North America in 2026 and will eventually include seven models launched globally by 2030. In China, Honda plans to introduce 10 EV models by 2027, with the goal of having 100% of its auto sales there be EVs by 2035.

Mibe emphasized Honda’s commitment to sustainability, stating, “We will become a frontrunner in changing lifestyles to attain sustainability goals, not wait for someone else to tackle them.” This commitment includes Honda’s determination to pursue both battery and fuel-cell EVs, contrasting with Toyota’s approach, which focuses more on hybrid vehicles and other models with internal combustion engines.

Out of the 10 trillion yen investment, approximately 2 trillion yen ($13 billion) will be allocated to research and development (R&D) on software. Another 2 trillion yen will be used to establish comprehensive EV value chains in key markets such as the U.S., Canada, and Japan. The remaining 6 trillion yen ($39 billion) will go towards the “monozukuri” or “the art of making things” aspect, including the construction of next-generation EV production plants, electrification of motorcycles, and development of EV models.

Honda highlighted its partnerships as critical to its EV strategy. Earlier this year, Honda and Nissan Motor Co. announced a collaboration on developing EVs and intelligent driving technology. Additionally, Honda signed a deal with IBM to collaborate on computer chips and software for future vehicles, addressing the increasing demand for better processing power and lower power consumption in vehicles.

Despite some concerns about the pace of EV adoption in certain markets, Honda remains optimistic about the long-term prospects for EVs. The company believes that EVs will become dominant in the latter half of the 2020s. As part of its strategy, Honda will continue to offer hybrid vehicles while ramping up its EV production and battery capabilities.

Honda’s ambitious plan to invest 10 trillion yen in EVs underscores its commitment to leading the way in sustainable mobility. With a focus on innovation, partnerships, and sustainable practices, Honda aims to transform the future of transportation. As the automotive industry shifts towards electrification, Honda is positioning itself to be a frontrunner in the global EV market, setting new standards for environmentally friendly and technologically advanced vehicles.

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