Honda to go all-EV after 2040, announces development of new e:Architecture platform

Honda aims to increase the ratio of electric vehicles (EVs) to fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) to 100% of all sales by 2040, CEO Toshihiro Mibe said Friday.

At his first press conference since taking over at Japan’s second-largest automaker in early April, Mibe said the company supported the Japanese 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,” said Mibe.

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

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

The goal set by the government is “achievable,” Mibe said.

“While the government’s goal is extremely difficult, I think it is an attainable goal from the perspective of Japan becoming carbon neutral by 2050,” he said.

“As for Honda, we are fully committed to this target – 46% – and we would like to put in all our efforts to achieve it,” he added.

Mibe began its leadership amid a growing shift in automotive technology to electric vehicles and autonomous driving. Traditionally known for its fuel-efficient combustion engines, Honda launched its first mass-produced, fully battery-powered car last August.

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

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In North America, Honda and GM will introduce two jointly developed large EV models with GM’s Ultium batteries in 2024, and launch a range of new EV models with a new EV platform called e: Architecture.

In Japan, Mibe said it aimed for EVs and FCVs to represent 20% of sales by 2030 and 80% by 2035. “realistic solution” for the domestic market.

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