Honda plans to drive at least two battery-powered SUVs in the U.S. market by 2024 to be better positioned to shift preference to electric vehicles (EVs) here. As it seeks to meet emission reduction targets, the Japanese automaker realizes the greater role electric vehicles will play in the times to come.
(Also Read: Honda Goes Small With Honda’s First Fully Electric Car)
Although Honda offers gasoline-electric hybrid versions of its best-selling models in the U.S. market, plans to sell fully-electric vehicles are a big step towards rivals like Toyota, Volkswagen, and even Tesla, who are ahead or who are planning to do so. create a brand in the EV space.
Dave Gardner, sales manager at Honda of America, told reporters that while the top of the two EVs will be made by Honda, the foundation will come from a partnership with General Motors. It was also pointed out that while one of the two electric SUVs would be under the Honda brand name, the other would be under Acura. “We now need to focus all of our energies in this direction in order to meet the deadlines,” he said.
Gardner also reportedly admitted that Honda is not yet branding in the electric vehicle space, but that the automaker is focusing on carbon neutrality by 2050.
Electric SUVs may be what the market has ordered, because aside from the fact that many buyers are now looking for a cleaner mobility option, there is also a growing preference for SUVs and pickup trucks in the US market. But does Honda have what it takes to be successful in this particular segment? “We’re really good at a number of things that seem to be out of fashion today, so there’s no question that we have some work to do to start moving quickly in the direction of zero emissions,” Gardner said.
At a time when electric vehicle sales still represent a minor fraction of total car sales in the United States, that may not sound like much. But this share is expected to increase rapidly in 2021 and in particular over the next few years.
(With AP inputs)