Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda and Hitachi Automotive Systems have announced they will establish a joint venture company for production of electric vehicle motors (with a 51% and lead share for Hitachi).

Memorandum of Understanding describes that the new company will develop, manufacture and sell electric motors for vehicles in Japan, with manufacturing/sales subsidiaries in the US and China.

The Honda Clarity, currently only offered as a fuel cell vehicle, will also be offered as a fully electric vehicle regionally in 2017, and then as a plug-in hybrid to all 50 states thereafter

The Honda Clarity, currently only offered as a fuel cell vehicle, will also be offered as a fully electric vehicle regionally in 2017, and then as a plug-in hybrid to all 50 states thereafter

Full details to be agreed by the end of March.  The new JV is to provide electric motors not only to Honda, but eventually to other vehicle manufacturers; that latter we assume is what Hitachi is banking on, as Honda currently has a grand total of zero plug-in electric vehicles on the market today.

The official reason for JV is (warning corporate speak ahead): "using the collaboration between a vehicle manufacturer and supplier to generate technological synergy and economies of scale that will strengthen their competitive advantage and business foundation for the motors at the core of an electric vehicle system".

Hitachi Automotive System has actually been producing electric motors for EV projects since 1999, while Honda so far has developed and produced motors on its own for the likes of the Fit EV and Accord PHV.

"Since Hitachi Automotive Systems first started selling motors for electric vehicles in 1999, it has been refining its technological and product capabilities to develop high-output, lightweight and compact electric vehicle motors. The company has delivered a high volume of these motors to vehicle manufacturers in Japan and throughout the world, and has earned high praise throughout the industry for the performance of these products and its production technology.

Since 1999, when Honda launched its first hybrid car, Insight, the company has focused on expanding its electric vehicle line-up as it continues to enhance its technological and production capabilities with respect to the motors that form the core component of electric vehicles.

A crazy high MSRP (~40k) and just ~13 miles of range meant that the Honda Accord PHV was non-to-successful inits limited stay in the US

A crazy high MSRP (~40k) and just ~13 miles of range meant that the Honda Accord PHV was non-to-successful inits limited stay in the US

Going forward, with environmental conservation measures and regulations increasing on a global scale, the market for electric vehicles is expected to continue to grow. Based on this direction, the two companies signed the MoU with the aim of using the collaboration between a vehicle manufacturer and supplier to generate technological synergy and economies of scale that will strengthen their competitive advantage and business foundation for the motors at the core of an electric vehicle system.

Subsidiary operations of the new Japan-based joint venture are planned for the United States and People’s Republic of China, each with manufacturing and sales functions. Together with the establishment of these operations, the new company will expand the global supply of motors by creating a robust response to demand from Honda and other vehicle manufacturers.

In parallel to the efforts of the new company, Hitachi Automotive Systems will continue to promote its business operations by maintaining the business relationships it has with vehicle manufacturers that receive their supply of motors from the company. Moreover, Honda will continue to focus on the global promotion of electric vehicles by using motors from the new company as well as the motors it currently manufactures itself in Japan."