Honda’s new CEO says the company wants to be 100% electric by 2040

Honda Motor Co. plans to expand its electric vehicle (EV) and fuel cell vehicle (FCV) sales to 100% of total sales by 2040, according to chief executive Toshihiro Mibe.

Mibe said the firm backed the government’s green targets at his first press conference since taking the helm of Japan’s second-largest automaker in early April.

“I think it is an automaker’s duty to achieve our carbon-free target from tank to wheel,” Mibe said.

In all global markets, including North America and China, the group expects EVs and FCVs to account for 40% of revenue by 2030 and 80% by 2035.

Honda’s announcement came after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged that Japan would push for a 46 percent reduction in pollution by 2030, almost double its previous commitment, and to search for ways to go even further.

According to Mibe, the government’s goal is “feasible.”

“If the government’s goal is ambitious, I think it is achievable in terms of Japan being carbon free by 2050,” he said.

“As for Honda, we fully support this target – 46% – and would like to devote all of our efforts to achieving it,” he added.

Mibe took over as CEO in the midst of a rising transition in automotive technology toward hybrid vehicles and self-driving cars. Honda, which is known for the fuel-efficient internal combustion engines, debuted the first mass-produced all-battery vehicle in August of last year.

Regardless of sales revenue volatility, Honda will spend a total of around 5 trillion yen ($46.3 billion) in research and development projects, including electrification, over the next six years, according to Mibe.

In 2024, Honda and GM will launch two jointly built large-sized EV models in North America, using GM’s Ultium batteries, as well as a range of new EV models based on the e:Architecture platform.

EVs and FCVs are expected to account for 20% of revenue in Japan by 2030, and 80% by 2035, according to Mibe. Meanwhile, he mentioned that Honda’s 2040 target would include hybrid vehicles, citing that converting traditional cars to hybrids is a “realistic option” for the domestic market.

Mibe added that by 2030, the firm hoped to provide advanced driver-assistance technologies in all of its models in major markets.

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