TOKYO – Honda Motor, in the midst of a radical corporate makeover, said it will invest 5 trillion yen ($39.91 billion) over the next 10 years in electrification and software as it rolls out 30 full electric vehicles globally and builds production capacity for 2 million EVs annually by 2030.
In announcing the new push on Tuesday in Japan, Honda said it will also shift its business away from non-recurring hardware sales toward recurring sales of services that combine hardware and software.
It is part of new software-defined EV platform, dubbed e:Architecture, that the company will launch in 2026 to underpin the next generation of large-sized battery electric cars from Honda.
Honda said the 5 trillion yen dedicated to electrification and software constitutes the lion’s share of the total r&d budget of 8 trillion yen ($63.86 billion) allotted over the same period.
CEO Toshihiro Mibe detailed the plans at Honda’s global headquarters, saying Japan’s No. 2 automaker would pursue a multi-pronged approach toward its goal of having a gasoline-free lineup by 2040. On one hand, it will work with partners in the near term to achieve scale and cut cost. On the other, it will develop its own in-house technologies to sustain it in the long run.
Among other elements announced April 12, Honda will spend 43 billion yen ($343.2 million) to open a demonstration line for producing next-generation solid-state batteries in the spring of 2024. It wants to bring the lighter, energy-dense batteries to market in the late 2020s.
In the meantime, Honda will keep sourcing Ultium lithium ion batteries from General Motors and also explore other joint ventures for battery production locally in North America. In China, it will partner with CATL, and in the home market of Japan, it will get batteries for a new series of mini-EVs from Envision AESC, the battery maker that also supplies rival Nissan Motor Co.
Honda will also leverage swappable batteries as part of its future power pack strategy.
Mibe said that Honda also wants to launch two all-electric sports cars in the mid-2020s. One will be a “specialty” vehicle, the other will be a “flagship model.” Teaser shots of cars under wraps depicted low-slung silhouettes reminiscent of the NSX that will be discontinued this year.
“From 2030 and beyond, we believe that we will be entering into the full popularization period, and battery EVs will be commonplace,” Mibe said. “We will have small, medium and large-sized platforms in place and cover all the segments with these three platforms.”
The announcement builds on a string of initiatives Mibe is taking to transform the automaker.
Earlier this month, Honda announced it would team up with General Motors to to sell millions of co-developed “affordable” EVs starting in 2027. And last month, Honda said it would partner with Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp. to market co-developed EVs from 2025.