Honda intensifies EV production in China
China’s most successful Japanese brand, Honda, has announced its intentions to increase and speed up the production of electrified vehicles in the world’s largest car market. Honda’s plans include the launch of 20 electrified vehicles by 2025.
2 EVs to start with
Honda has now given more details about the strategy that was outlined end of 2017, when its chief technology officer, Keiji Ohtsu, was heard saying: “In 2025, we don't expect to be able to sell conventional internal-combustion engines [in China], meaning we will be selling mostly hybrids including plug-in types." Reading between the lines, Honda is not abandoning ICE engineering, but launching products that will deliver a better fuel economy.
This type of announcement has become commonplace, obviously because of the Chinese emission regulations that require OEM’s to produce an increasing number of carbon friendly/neutral vehicles. Nevertheless, it seems that Honda is better prepared than some of the other OEM’s who’ve gone into panic mode recently. Honda is said to have a line-up of production-ready hybrids, that would not only match the Chinese regulations, but also the future US and EU emission standards.
As for China, the Japanese brand will be launching a first EV, a compact sedan, within the Guangzhou joint venture and a second one in 2019 with Dongfeng. The first will be launched under the Everus brand, the second one is still to be badged. Both models were presented at the Beijing Motor Show, but Honda didn’t disclose details about the cars.
In advance of these developments, Honda had already announced in September 2017 to start developing battery management systems with the Chinese tech firm Neusoft.
The Japanese car makers continue to eye hydrogen power tech as a future alternative to electrified vehicles. Toyota, Nissan and Honda have created a joint venture, called “Japan H2 Mobility” that, in collaboration with gas and energy companies, such as Air Liquide, will build hydrogen stations. The joint venture is heard to say that technology is not the main issue with hydrogen cars, but rather the number of fuel stations. Honda is already producing the Clarity, a fuel cell powered 5 seat sedan, offered through a limited network of “Clarity Dealers” and marketed with an attractive leasing proposal.