► Your essential electric Honda briefing
► Japan’s no.2 car maker embraces EVs
► Hybrids first, then 30 full electric models
Honda has announced a major £31 billion investment to electrify its range – confirming more electric vehicles (EVs), a pair of electric sports cars and the end of all combustion engines by 2040. It’s a major step for the world’s biggest combustion engine manufacturer, whose output totals 30 million motors for cars, motorbikes, planes, garden equipment and airplanes every year.
The Japanese firm that brought us VTEC and scores of high-revving Type R thrills has until now been moving to hybridise every model line in Europe and lists the diminutive and dinky Honda E as its sole battery electric vehicle (BEV) today. That will now be joined by a raft of further powertrains: ‘Honda believes that a multifaceted and multidimensional approach is needed, not a mere replacing of engines with batteries’ – signalling a multi-fuel future, including BEVs, fuel-cells, battery swap stations and hybrids as we enter the great automotive transition period.
How Honda will electrify its range
Honda is preparing a raft of region-specific EVs in the short term, including a range of smaller ‘mini EVs and SUVs’ for Japan, 10 new EVs for China by 2027 and a pair of larger EVs co-developed with GM for sale in America.
But from 2026 the company is preparing global electric models based on the new Honda e: Architecture, a brand new bespoke EV platform that combines the company’s inhouse electric and software capabilities. It promises ‘a cost and range as competitive as gasoline-powered vehicles’ from 2027.
End result? Thirty new EV models globally by 2030, stretching from commercials to flagships, SUVs (above) to sports cars – with 2 million units of production slated by 2030. This is a paradigm shift, make no mistake.
Two new electric Honda sports cars too…
Reassuringly for enthusiasts, Honda has pledged not to give up on its dynamic DNA, promising a raft of all-electric sports cars. Look under the dust covers, and you can see what looks like a blueprint for an NSX EV and maybe something resembling an S2000-type model.
‘While taking on challenges toward carbon neutrality and electrification, Honda always has a passion to offer fun for its customers,’ the company said. ‘The “joy of driving” will be passed on to our models even in the era of electrification, and Honda will globally introduce two sports models, a specialty and a flagship model, which will embody Honda’s universal sports mindset and distinctive characteristics.’ Amen to that.
Keep reading to learn more about Honda’s future plans. Or use these links to navigate this article:
What is Electric Vision?
Electric Vision is the official name attached to Honda’s enterprising electrification scheme to date. While the strategy includes hybrids (like the Honda Jazz and Honda CR-V), Honda also has plans for expanding its BEV (battery-electric vehicle) line-up beyond the Honda E.
The company is cooperating with a variety of manufacturers to accelerate its transition – from Sony and Envision AESC in Japan to the likes of GM in America and CATL in China.
Sony and Honda announce joint venture to produce electric cars
The 2022 announcement is proof that Honda is accelerating its electrification programme. Originally scheduled to be delivered by 2025, the deadline was brought forward three years and Honda will now have six electrified vehicles on sale in Europe by 2022.
By 2050 Honda aims to halve the CO2 emissions produced by all its cars compared to 2001 figures with an overall reduction of emissions from new cars of 80-90%.
A guide to Honda’s electric cars
Honda’s first production EV is called the E. It combines retro-looks with cutting edge tech to make a charming little supermini that prioritises coolness and style over a long battery range. Official WLTP range is between 125-137 miles depending on which version you buy. But expect to see figures as low as 100 miles in cold weather.
Read our Honda E long-term test
It’s comparatively more expensive than other electric superminis (starting from £26,660), but it remains a car we like a lot at CAR. It’s packed with cool tech including two 12.3-inch screens on the dashboard, camera mirrors and a proper three-point plug to charge up your laptop on the go. It also has one of the most characterful interiors currently on sale and it’s a hoot to drive, too.
First showcased at the 2017 Tokyo motor show alongside the Urban EV Concept, the Sports EV concept appears to be edging ever closer to production. A patent registered in 2019 by Honda showcases a sleek sports car that shares more than a few design cues with the Honda E, most notably the retro-inspired headlights.
While it moves away from the overt 1960s styling of the concept shown in Tokyo, it will still sit on Honda’s BEV platform and will most likely use the same powertrain as the E, albeit more powerful. A spiritual successor to the Honda S800? We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Unveiled at Auto China 2020 the Honda SUV e:concept will form the next all-electric Honda, and the first Honda EV to be sold in China.
Electric SUVs are all the rage at the moment, and it seems only natural that Honda would cash in at some point. While little information exists surrounding the concept, the styling does appear to look like an updated Honda CR-V and it has been confirmed that the concept will feed into a production BEV SUV.
Beyond simply providing electric cars, Honda also has plans for a commercial energy management service. Dubbed e:PROGRESS, it intends to tailor energy charges for EV owners to avoid high tariff charges and use renewable energy wherever possible.
The service will include a smart home charger complete with a control system to ensure that customers are able to charge their cars at the most cost-effective time in the least harmful way. The system is being made in collaboration with smart changing specialist Moixa and Vattenfall, a European energy supplier.
Further electric car reading
The best electric cars and EVs on sale today
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
The best hybrids, plug-ins and PHEVs
Wireless electric car charging
Volkswagen electric cars: what you need to know