Honda Motor Co. is doubling down on the world’s biggest car market, pledging that all models it introduces in China after 2030 will be electric as CEO Toshihiro Mibe pushes ahead with the Japanese automaker’s aim of ditching combustion engine cars globally by 2040.
Honda on Wednesday said it will introduce 10 EVs under its “e:N Series” range within five years, with two models, the e:NS1 and e:NP1, set to go on sale next year from Dongfeng Honda and GAC Honda, the automaker’s joint-venture companies in China, respectively.
New, dedicated EV production plants will also be built at GAC Honda and Dongfeng Honda, starting in 2024, and Honda eventually expects to export its e:N Series models from the nation, according to Wednesday’s statement.
In addition, a strategic partnership with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., now the world’s largest maker of EV batteries, will be strengthened, Honda said. The two companies signed an agreement to cooperate on R&D in July last year when Honda bought a stake of around 1 percent in CATL.
Having a strong foothold in China is a prerequisite for Honda to achieve its 2040 carbon-neutral target, said Takeshi Miyao, an analyst at Carnorama. “This is the best scenario for Honda to expand its push to EVs,” he added, noting that while Honda has an alliance with American giant General Motors Co., China is the more advanced EV market.