This program will focus on two main tracks: first, the introduction of 30 entirely new models of electricity globally by 2030, and second, a deeper investment in solid-state battery technology, a development path widely accepted as a major step in battery technology that will unleash the full potential For battery electric vehicles.
In the lead up to this new expansion, Honda strengthened its existing automotive business, reducing the complexity and diversity of its global ranges. It has also streamlined its global production – a move that has partially forced the closure of Honda’s plant in Swindon in the UK.
This has resulted in the resources and capacity to develop those 30 new compounds targeting three primary market paths, a huge task for any manufacturer. These will focus on the North American, Japanese, and Chinese domestic markets, with development skewed towards their respective achievements. Honda expects this expansion to reach production output of 2 million units annually, which brings with it its own challenges around manufacturing capacity and procurement.
Batteries are the main sticking point in terms of volume, so Honda has already taken steps to secure a stable supply of lithium-ion batteries in various global markets at the scale it needs to reach those target numbers. In the US, this includes a new high-profile partnership with General Motors that will initially supply battery cells for Honda’s US EV models as well as co-development of two new mid-size EV models developed specifically for the US market slated for launch in 2024. It will also see the introduction of a new common architecture in 2026, and by 2027 Honda and General Motors will launch a jointly developed low-cost electric vehicle.
In addition to its partnership with General Motors, Honda is also looking to establish a joint venture in producing its own batteries in the USA. In Japan and China, Honda will work to strengthen relationships with existing suppliers. This will coincide with the accelerated development of solid-state batteries by Honda in Japan, which plans to complete construction of a new facility where a prototype solid-state battery production should be underway by mid-2024.
The good news is that within all this car diversity, the sports car is a big part of the plan. Two different sport models are in development, and both promise to direct Honda’s remarkable history of high-performance engineering and precision. We’ve been given a first look at what to expect, with an image revealing a long, crisp sports car and mid-engine supercar under digital covers. It might be easy to look back and assume that these two sporty models are inspired by two famous high-performance models from the past, and the relationship is very close with the S2000 and the NSX…