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Honda to go fully electric by 2040

Tuhin Guha Published: April 26, 2021, 12:35 PM IST

In an inaugural address by Honda's new global president, Toshihiro Mibe, the Japanese carmaker has announced its plans towards sustainability and electrification in the next few decades. The big news here is that the company will go fully electric by 2040.

Honda has announced a three-pronged plan to achieve its sustainability targets. The first of these is to achieve carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities by 2050. This will include manufacturing, mobility, energy generation, power units and robotics arms of the firm. The company will not limit itself to just BEVs, but will use other energy sources like hydrogen and carbon-neutral fuels where necessary. Honda is also looking at developing its cars using 100 per cent sustainable materials while other strategies will be put in place to achieve its carbon neutrality goals.

These will come with swappable battery packs for its two-wheeler offerings, large-capacity batteries for electrified vehicles and use of fuel-cell technologies for applications like commercial vehicles. Honda is also independently researching solid-state batteries and will begin testing this tech's production suitability using a demonstration line this year.

As for Honda's electrification plans, reaching the full electrification target by 2040 will include growing the share of electrified vehicles to 40 per cent of all sales globally by 2030, further increasing this to 80 per cent by 2035 before reaching 100 per cent electrification by 2040.

As is becoming a common trend in the car industry, synergies with other carmakers will play major role in achieving these targets. In the North American market, Honda will use GM's Ultium batteries to jointly developing two large-sized EV models that will be launched in 2024 under the Honda and Acura brands. Alongside this, Honda will also launch a range of products under its e:Architecture EV platform from the latter half of this decade. In China, Honda will work with local partners to launch 10 Honda-branded EVs starting with the productions-spec Honda SUV e:prototype in 2022.

In its home market of Japan, where EV takeup has been slower than elsewhere, Honda will reach 20 per cent electrification by 2030, before matching goals with its global targets. However, if hybrids are considered, Honda will have a fully electrified range in Japan by 2030. The first electric Kei-car by Honda will launch by 2024.

It is still to be seen how this affects Honda's strategy in India. With EVs still some time away from becoming viable personal mobility options here, and cost still a consideration, we could expect to see steadily increasing electrification from Honda's Indian offerings, even as policies and infrastructure start becoming more suitable towards electric vehicles.

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