Honda Motor Company President Toshihiro Mibe’s first press conference, held April 23rd, was where he committed to solidifying Honda’s existing businesses.
Honda is working to achieve carbon neutrality for all products and activities by 2050. Zero environmental impact not only for its products but their entire lifecycle. Areas of concentration include carbon neutrality, clean energy, and resource circulation.
Honda’s power pack swappable batteries will expand electrified cars’ and motorcycles’ range. Infrastructure-linked smart power operations encourage renewable energy use.
Mibe said Honda will be hydrogen-proactive, among a variety of energy sources. Carbon-neutral fuels are part of an energy multi-pathway.
Honda continues the eMaaS concept, where the company supports mobility freedom and renewable energy use expansion. This includes the use of mobile power packs, large-capacity batteries in EVs, and fuel cell systems growth.
Honda’s battery-electric vehicle (EVs) and fuel cell electric vehicle (FCVs) ratio in all major EV markets will be 40 percent by 2030, 80 percent by 2035, and 100 percent by 2040. Meeting these targets will require the entire chain’s participation. Honda set high goals to clarify what they want to accomplish. Honda employees worldwide accept the challenge of trying to reach these goals.
The North American target EV/FCV sales ratio is 40 percent by 2030, 80 percent by 2035, and 100 percent by 2040. Leveraging the General Motors alliance, Honda will pursue electrification by taking advantage of the strengths of both companies. Honda and GM are developing two large-sized EV models using GM’s Ultium batteries. They are planning to introduce these vehicles as 2024 models, one from Honda and the other from Acura.
Honda will launch a series of new EV models using e:Architecture, a new EV platform led by Honda. These EV models will be introduced in North America, and then in other parts of the world.
In China, Honda’s EV/FCV unit sales targets are identical to that of North America. Honda has introduced EV models using local resources, and will further accelerate this approach going forward. Strengthening their collaboration with CATL for batteries is one example. 10 Honda-brand EV models will be introduced in five years. The first of these models based on the Honda SUV e:prototype, will go on sale in spring 2022.
In Japan, Honda’s EV/FCV unit sales target starts out at a modest 20 percent by 2030, then catches up with the rest of the world in 2035. They expect 100 percent of their automobile unit sales in Japan by 2030 to be electric. The first to debut K-car segment EV in 2024, Honda is progressing in the electrification of both hybrid and EV K-cars.
A local production and local procurement approach to sourcing batteries in Japan, this will also contribute to growth domestically. Addressing mobility services (MaaS), Honda is working on the Cruise Origin, an electric self-driving vehicle they are developing with GM.
Maintaining EV competitiveness has meant all-solid-state battery research as the next-gen high-capacity, low-cost power source. Production technology verification will start this year. Honda is accelerating this research to make all-solid-state batteries available in the second half of the 2020s.
Honda’s motorcycle industry leadership includes not only electrification but also improving gasoline engine fuel efficiency, biofuel utilization, and other strategies. Electrification of motorcycles required consideration of batteries separately from the motorcycle. In developed countries, Honda will pursue electrification utilizing their mobile power packs, targeting B-to-B (business-to-business) and B-to-G (business-to-government) customers.
For personal use, Honda is enhancing their product lineup. They will make battery-swapping stations available, and ensure user convenience by making them swappable with other makes. Honda has established a consortium with other Japanese and European motorcycle OEMs to develop technology standards for swappable batteries. Expanding mobile power pack applications beyond motorcycles to power products and micro-mobility products is another of Honda’s goals.
Introducing GYRO e: and GYRO CANOPY e: business-use bikes this year, Honda will also have three new personal use EVs with engine sizes below 50cc and below 125cc by 2024.
Hydrogen is expected to be a popular renewable energy source. While continuing to collaborate with GM, Honda wants to reduce costs and start a hydrogen base by FCV lineup expansion. They also want to use FC systems for a wide range of applications, including commercial trucks, stationary, and movable power sources.
Striving for zero traffic collision fatalities involving Honda products globally by 2050, the major challenge is how to eliminate motorcycle collision fatalities, especially in emerging countries. Strengthening research on safety technologies that enable motorcycles and automobiles to safely coexist will lead the way towards a collision-free society.
Motorcycle collision fatalities often involve automobiles. Honda’s application of its omnidirectional ADAS (advanced driver-assistance system) to all new automobiles they introduce in developed countries by 2030 will help reduce that number. Using their Level 3 automated driving technologies, it will further enhance ADAS intelligence, which increases the percentage of collision patterns covered.
Regardless of sales revenue fluctuations, Honda will invest a total of $4.6 trillion in research and development over the next six years. The company will take the necessary measures, including alliances, to further develop digital technologies as quickly as possible. They will also be proactive in building a strong electrification value chain.
Ambitious? Not for a motorcycle company that came ashore in the U.S. in 1959.