Honda said this week it plans to spend 5 trillion yen, or nearly $40 billion, over the next 10 years to advance its electric vehicle strategy through R&D and other investments. The Japanese automaker aims to launch 30 EV models worldwide by 2030 and says it will produce more than 2 million EVs a year by then.
The planned EV range will include two sports cars – a specialty and a flagship model.
“As Honda takes on challenges of carbon neutrality and electrification, it is always passionate about bringing joy to its customers,” Honda said in the release.
For starters, Honda has plans to introduce EVs tailored to regional markets. In North America, the company is partnering with GM to roll out two new medium-to-large EVs by 2024. In China, Honda will introduce 10 new EV models by 2027. And in Japan, Honda will first launch a mini EV model in the 1 million yen price range in early 2024. After that, it will roll out mini EVs for personal use and EV SUVs.
By the mid-2020s, EVs should be more popular, Honda says. At that point, in 2026, the company will ramp up production with the adoption of Honda e:Architecture, an EV platform that combines hardware and software.
It is widely expected that the adoption of electric vehicles will grow rapidly in the coming decade. According to Gartner, only 4 million EVs will be shipped worldwide by 2021, but the research firm expects shipments to reach 36 million by 2030, a 32% increase. In the United States, Tesla had a whopping 74% of the market by 2021, with the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf and a few other models taking a fraction of the market.
Honda said that by 2027, in partnership with GM, it should be able to introduce affordable EVs — cars with price and range that are as competitive as gas-powered vehicles.
The biggest challenge EV makers are currently facing is batteries. Honda has a two-pronged plan to address the problem.
For now, the company plans to rely on maintaining its third-party partnerships in different geographic regions to ensure a stable supply of liquid lithium-ion batteries. By the mid-2020s, Honda plans to have next-generation battery technology ready to hit the market.
Like Nissan, Honda is currently developing all-solid-state batteries, a potentially groundbreaking technology that could significantly lower the cost of EVs. Honda is investing about 43 billion yen, or $343 million, to build a demonstration line with the goal of making it operational by spring 2024.
Honda’s electrification initiatives are part of its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality “for all products and operations” by 2050, the company says. To achieve that goal, it said, “a multifaceted and multidimensional approach is needed, not just replacing motors with batteries.” It also includes the use of interchangeable batteries and hydrogen, the company said.