Honda is moving quickly to catch electric-vehicle competitors in global markets, but the company’s top executive said combustion engines could last into 2040 and beyond.
Regarding the Japanese automaker’s rapid transition to EVs, chief executive Toshihiro Mibe said, “I’ve been in the engine development business for over 30 years, so personally it’s a bit alarming. But I have to separate my feelings from what’s best for the business.”
That includes setting up a standalone business unit next month to oversee the development of Honda’s EV and battery business, which could eventually include investing in charging stations similar to Tesla’s Supercharger network, Miebe said at the company’s headquarters in Marysville, Ohio. said in the center. American Operations.
“The charging infrastructure is not where it needs to be for our customers,” he said.
Miebe said Honda is running feasibility studies on everything from chargers and advanced batteries to aerial vehicles and rockets as well as new low-carbon e-fuels that could replace combustion engines — in performance cars, large trucks and airplanes. Could help keep up – for another decade or two.
But Mibe said, “As we move towards carbon neutrality, we are focusing on electrification and fuel cells – these are two key components of future mobility.”
Honda has been slow to follow larger rivals, from Volkswagen AG to General Motors Co., in committing billions of dollars to develop and manufacture EVs and batteries. It now plans to invest at least $40 billion through 2030, aiming for hybrid and fully electric vehicles to reach 40% of its sales by the end of the decade.
Those investments include a $3.5 billion joint venture with LG Energy Solutions in Jeffersonville, Ohio, to make batteries for use in Honda’s future EV factories in North America starting in 2025.
Before that, Honda will get two new electric SUVs, the Honda Prologue and the Acura ZDX, from GM’s Spring Hills factory in Tennessee in 2024.
Mibe confirmed that Honda is developing its own EV architecture, the first of which will arrive in the US in 2026, as well as advanced batteries of its own design for some future models.