Honda has pledged to invest approximately 5 trillion yen ($40 billion) over the next 10 years in electrification and software with the goal of offering 30 all-electric vehicles globally built in an annual volume of 2 million units by 2030.
The ambitious goals were announced today by Honda Motor CEO Toshihiro Mibe during a press briefing at the company's global headquarters in Tokyo.
The executive said that Honda would shift its business away from non-recurring hardware sales toward recurring sales of services that combine hardware and software. This will be made possible from 2026 by the automaker's e:Architecture dedicated EV platform.
Demo line for next-gen solid-state batteries coming in spring 2024
Honda will pursue a multi-pronged approach to achieve its goal of having a gasoline-free lineup by 2040. On the one hand, the company will work with partners in the near term to achieve scale and cut cost—see the partnership with GM in North America; on the other, it will develop its own in-house technologies in the long run.
For example, following in the footsteps of Nissan, Honda says it will build a demonstration line for the production of all-solid-state batteries, with the goal to start demonstration production in spring 2024 and bring the lighter, energy-dense batteries to market in the late 2020s.
Until that happens, Honda will keep sourcing Ultium batteries from GM and explore other joint ventures for battery production in North America. The carmaker will partner with CATL in China and with Envision AESC in Japan, where it plans to offer a new series of mini EVs.
EVs tailored to each region through the second half of the 2020s
As for the 30 Honda electric vehicles that will become available worldwide by 2030, the automaker breaks them down into two categories.
From now on through the second half of the 2020s, Honda will introduce products tailored to the market characteristics of each region. In North America, those will include two mid- to large-size EVs jointly developed with GM that will launch in 2024: the Honda Prologue SUV and an Acura electric SUV.
In China, Honda will introduce a total of 10 new EVs by 2027, while in Japan, it will launch a commercial-use mini EV model at the 1-million-yen ($8,000) price range in early 2024. After that, Honda plans to launch personal-use mini EVs and electric SUVs in its home market.
EVs from a global perspective after the second half of the decade
After the second half of the 2020s, Honda will begin introducing "the best EVs from a global perspective." In 2026, the automaker will begin adopting the Honda e:Architecture EV platform that combines the hardware platform and software platform.
The dedicated EV architecture will also underpin two sports cars, described by Honda as a specialty and a flagship model. The automaker says these EVs will embody its "universal sports mindset and distinctive characteristics." In the teaser images, the flagship sports car appears to have similar proportions to the mid-engined NSX, hinting at a return for the fabled nameplate in all-electric form.
Through the alliance with GM, Honda aims to introduce affordable EVs in 2027, with a cost and range that will be as competitive as gasoline-powered vehicles, starting from North America.
Honda says that its 30 EV models available globally by 2030 will encompass a full lineup from commercial-use mini EVs to flagship-class models, with a planned total annual output of more than 2 million units.
To support the ambitious production target, Honda plans to build two dedicated EV plans in China (in Guangzhou and Wuhan) and a dedicated EV production line in North America.