Japanese carmaker Honda will accelerate the development of its electric vehicle lineup by investing at least $40 billion through 2030 in a bid to get hybrids and fully electric models at up to 40 percent of total sales by the end of this decade.
To this effect, the Asian marque will establish next month a standalone business unit that will oversee the development of the company's new EV models, battery production, and a possible standalone charging network, according to Reuters.
At the same time, however, Honda will continue making internal combustion engine cars, with the company's CEO saying that ICE vehicles could last until 2040 and beyond, with a little help from newly developed e-fuels.
“I’ve been in the engine development business for more than 30 years, so personally it’s a little threatening. But I have to separate my own feelings from what is best for the business,” said Toshihiro Mibe, CEO of Honda.
The carmaker's chief executive added that Honda is currently running feasibility studies on a slew of topics, from EV chargers to aerial vehicles and even rockets, as well as low-carbon e-fuels that could keep current combustion-engined vehicles running for at least a decade or two, especially in performance cars, big trucks, and airplanes.
With this being said, though, Mibe emphasized that Honda is now focused on two main components as it shifts towards carbon neutrality: electrification and fuel cells.
Compared to other big car manufacturers around the world, Honda is a little late to the electrification game, with only a single full-electric model on sale outside of the United States – the small Honda E hatchback. However, the Japanese company has worked with General Motors to introduce two all-new EVs on the US market – the Honda Prologue and the Acura ZDX, both of which will debut in 2024.
But Honda plans on developing its own EV architecture, which the CEO confirmed will be a part of a 2026-bound vehicle in North America, as opposed to the upcoming Ultium-based mid-size crossovers. Additionally, future Honda EVs will make use of internally-developed battery packs, some of which will be built at the firm's $3.5 billion joint venture with LG in Jeffersonville, Ohio, starting in 2025.