According to DOGTAVTO Honda will sell a million yen light electric car in 2024! Invested 8 trillion yen in R&D and developed all solid state batteries in-house.
On April 12, Honda announced at a briefing on vehicle electrification that it will spend about 8 trillion yen on R&D by 2030, more than half of which, 5 trillion yen, will be devoted to electric vehicles (EVs) and software. It also plans to develop 30 models of electric vehicles worldwide by the same period, and to increase annual production to 2 million vehicles, nearly half the current level. To further accelerate the electrification of mobility, the company plans to develop in-house production of next-generation all solid-state batteries and invest about 43 billion yen in R&D.
What is Honda’s plan to get rid of gasoline by 2040?
One year has passed since the establishment of the new organization last April, and President Toshihiro Mibe explained the «progress of four-wheel electrification» under the new organization as «the result of our efforts over the past few years.
According to him, mainly in relation to existing business: «Last year, we introduced the new Vezel and the new Civic, both of which received high acclaim. Among other things, the Civic won the North American Car of the Year award for the third time, which is the result of the ‘production reform’ that Honda has been working on for several years.» Reflecting further on the results, he said: «The integration of the platform layout and the sharing of components, ‘the Thanks to the widespread use of ‘Honda Architecture,’ we are now able to effectively produce better products.»
Furthermore, the discontinuation of finished vehicle production in Sayama, Japan, has contributed to the «optimization of production capacity» in the UK and Turkey. The resulting strengthening of the business structure has not only increased profits, but has also become an important source of investment in electrification and new growth areas. Mr. Sanbe attracted attention when he declared at his inaugural press conference in April 2021 that the company would «eliminate gasoline» by 2040, and this statement sets forth concrete measures to achieve this goal.
Offering a light electric vehicle for business use for 1,000,000 yen
In response, Senior Managing Director Shinji Aoyama took the stage and explained more specific future strategies. According to him, Honda’s electric vehicle strategy is to divide its main regions into three regions (North America, China, and Japan) and introduce products suited to the characteristics of each market.
First, in 2024, Honda plans to launch two medium-sized and large electric vehicles (Honda brand: Prologue, Acura brand: SUV) jointly developed with GM in the North American market. Meanwhile, for Japan, where hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, Honda will introduce a compact electric vehicle for the market priced at around 1 million yen in the first half of 2024. After that, Honda plans to launch a series of light electric vehicles and electric SUVs for personal use.
This regional segmentation was not indicated in Honda’s announcement last year, but this time it is a sensible direction in terms of adapting to regional realities.
Developing EVs in the popular price range jointly with GM
In addition, Honda expects electric vehicles to become popular in the late 2020s, and will develop optimal electric vehicles from a global perspective by then. To this end, we have developed the Honda e： Architecture, an electric vehicle platform that integrates electric vehicle hardware and software platforms. It has also been announced that models employing this platform will be launched successively starting in 2026.
Among other things, the focus is on the introduction of volume-priced electric vehicles after 2027 that will be as competitive as gasoline-powered vehicles in terms of cost and cruising range. produced in an alliance with GM, the company plans to promote electric vehicles globally through joint development, including procurement. In addition to China, the company plans to set up a line dedicated to electric vehicles at its plants in North America. As a result, Honda plans to produce 2 million units of 30 models of electric vehicles a year globally by 2030.
The presentation also discussed the joint venture with Sony, which was announced on March 4 of this year. According to Vice President Shinji Aoyama, «We position this as a challenge to expand the concept of mobility, so to speak, to explore new mobility values that cannot be realized by a single mobile device manufacturer, and to launch a value-added model that combines the strengths of both companies by the year 2025.» Sony presented the VISION-S to the world as a prototype, but will the image be similar to that of the VISION-S? Expectations are high here.
In-house development of all-solid-state batteries; two new electric vehicle sports
Another aspect of electrification that should not be overlooked is the battery procurement system. Promoting the concept of «local production for local consumption,» the company will deepen cooperation with China New Energy Technology (CATL), the world’s largest automotive battery manufacturer for China. In North America, the company is considering a joint venture with a company other than GM. In Japan, Nissan and Mitsubishi have agreed to purchase batteries from China’s Envision AESC Group.
Furthermore, Honda’s preferred battery for electric vehicles is the next-generation «all-solid-state» battery. Compared to current liquid lithium-ion batteries, all-solid-state batteries not only increase range, but also cut recharging time in half. Honda plans to develop it independently and invest about 43 billion yen to build a mass production prototype line in Sakura City, Tochigi Prefecture, with the aim of launching it in the spring of 2024.
The announcement also revealed that two of Honda’s sporty models, the Specialty and Flagship, will be launched globally in the mid-2020s. President Sanbe said: «Even though we are challenging carbon neutrality and electrification, we always want to keep the desire to deliver EVOLUTION (fun = joy) to our users.» No specific details were announced on the day, but veiled images emerged.