With an aim of zero-emission, Honda has planned to shift its anchor to electrified automobile business in China. Toshihiro Mibe, CEO of the third-largest Japanese automaker announced a trio of new battery-electric concept vehicles.
Till now, Honda was offering a mix of various electrified technologies, including conventional hybrids and electric models, as well as fuel-cell vehicles. Now, the automobile company in collaboration with Chinese market has focussed exclusively to battery and hydrogen powered vehicles.
Mibe added that by the end of this decade, Honda will introduce BEVs (battery-electric vehicles) and FCVs (fuel-cell vehicles) in China. The shift is already underway with 10 new EVs by Honda to debut in China during the coming five years.
Preview of the three concepts
Three new battery-electric concepts have already unveiled by the company. Based on skateboard chassis to mount batteries and motors below the load floor, Honda has given enough room to designers and engineers to create different types of vehicles from those it sells today. The three concepts introduced by the company are:
- The e:N – it is a two-door all-electric coupe
- The e:N SUV – it is a battery-powered crossover
- The e:N GT – it is a zero-emissions sports car
New electric architecture
Honda in collaboration with local Chinese automakers GAC and Dongfeng plans to set up EV assembly plants. With that the EVs will go into production by 2024. Its new electric architecture will have two versions:
- the e:N F chassis for compact and front-wheel-drive EVs, while
- the e:N W chassis for bigger models with rear and all-wheel-drive drivetrains.
Electrification of automobiles
Mibe envisions to put global shift to battery power, with China becoming the top exporter of its EVs to the world.
To achieve carbon-free goal on a “tank-to-wheel” basis Honda with its EV shift will reach all major players. The automaker plans to increase the ratio of battery-electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCVs) within overall unit sales in all major markets of electrification combined to 40% by 2030, to 80% by 2035, and then to 100% globally by 2040.
First two BEVs will be manufactured in the US
Takahiro Hachigo, previous CEO was reluctant to focus on exclusive shift to BEVs and FCVs over the hybrids. However, Toshihiro Mibe, the current CEO thinks otherwise. He is diving directly into the electrification of automobiles at global level.
Honda’s shift to battery power won’t be limited to China. In a joint venture with General Motors, Honda will roll out the first of two BEVs manufactured in the US market. The two vehicles will be Ultium powered, the platform that GM uses to power its vehicles like the Cadillac Lyriq. Nevertheless, the subsequent Honda BEVs sold in the U.S. will use the company’s e:N platforms.
Electrification will play an important role in the transformation of the mobility industry.
EVs are already on their way to commercial acceptance. In fact, they are considered as mature solutions to pollutants and traffic. Primarily, the shift to vehicle electrification is boosted by climate concerns. Additionally, fossil fuels are finite, they are draining every day, electrification surely is the future.