Honda’s drive to be an all-electric car-maker by 2040 

The auto giant’s new CEO has pledged to ditch petrol and diesel engines over the next 20 years and make the Japanese firm’s output 100% EV or fuel cell-based 

by Sean OMeara
Honda’s drive to be an all-electric car-maker by 2040 
Honda expects EVs and FCVs to account for 40% of sales by 2030 and 80% by 2035.  

Japanese motor giant Honda’s new CEO has vowed to make the company a 100% electric operation over the next 20 years. 

Toshihiro Mibe said Honda will invest a total of about 5 trillion yen ($46.3 billion) in research and development initiatives, including electrification, over the next six years, regardless of sales revenue fluctuations. 

The plan is for electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) to be the only vehicles they’ll be selling by 2040, the chief executive said on Friday.

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Speaking at his first news conference since taking the helm of Japan's second-largest automaker at the beginning of April, Mibe said the company supported the government's green goals.

"I believe it is the responsibility of an automaker to achieve our carbon-free goal on a 'tank-to-wheel' basis," Mibe said.

The company expects EVs and FCVs to account for 40% of sales by 2030 and 80% by 2035 in all major markets, including North America and China.

Honda's announcement of its electrification strategy comes after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed Japan would aim for a 46% cut in emissions by 2030 and look for ways to go even further, nearly doubling from its previous target.

CARBON NEUTRAL

"While the government's target is extremely difficult, I believe it is a feasible target from the viewpoint of Japan becoming carbon neutral in 2050," he said.

"As for Honda, we are in full support of this target – 46% – and we'd like to put all our efforts towards achieving the goal," he added.

Mibe began his leadership amid a growing shift in automobile technology to electric vehicles and autonomous driving. Traditionally known for its fuel-efficient internal-combustion engines, Honda launched its first mass-produced all-battery vehicle last August.

GM TIE-UP

In North America, Honda and GM will introduce two jointly-developed large-sized EV models using GM's Ultium batteries in 2024, and will launch a series of new EV models which feature a new EV platform dubbed e:Architecture.

In Japan, Mibe said it was aiming for EVs and FCVs to account for 20% of sales by 2030 and 80% by 2035. Meanwhile, he said Honda will include hybrid vehicles in its 2040 target, citing that changing conventional cars to hybrid is a "realistic solution" for the domestic market.

Mibe said the company also aimed to include advanced driver-assistance systems in all of its models in major markets by 2030.

  • Reporting by Reuters

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