Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Honda’s new electric strategy

Ten new electric Hondas will be on sale by 2025. The Japanese giant’s five year electric target is one million bikes

It’s fair to say that the entire bike industry has been waiting for one of the big manufacturers to take the lead on electric bike production. Now Honda Japan has jumped in, with both feet, announcing a whole new strategy that’s aimed at moving on from petrol power.

At a press conference in Japan, streamed globally, Honda bosses Kohei Takeuchi and Yoshishige Nomura briefed the world’s press on where Honda saw the short- and medium-term future of its bike business.

The headlines jumped out: the firm plans to accelerate electrification of its bikes, while also advancing the design of internal combustion engines, all with a focus on carbon neutrality. Honda engineers are also working on developing new solid-state battery technology. There will be at least ten new electric motorcycles launched by Honda over the next three years, including three larger machines. And the firm is aiming sell one million electric bikes a year in five years’ time – with 3.5 million bikes (15% of production) sold annually by 2030. Finally, by 2050, the firm’s entire range of corporate activities will be carbon neutral. That will cover an expansion in Flex-Fuel bio-ethanol powered internal combustion engines too, particularly in Brazil, where ethanol has been a major motor fuel for decades, but also in the huge Indian market.

The firm was coy on exact details about its forthcoming electric models, but a graphic showed plenty of the expected commuter-style scooters in silhouette. Electric bicycles will also play a part in its plans – one area where other bike firms are already well advanced.

Intriguingly, Honda also revealed that it has “Large Fun EV” platforms already under development, with three of these to be launched in Europe, Japan and the US in 2024-25. The outline graphic appeared to show a pair of cruisers or bobber style roadsters, plus what looks like an adventure style scooter. Honda is also planning a new electric kids off-roader by 2025.

A slightly slower start than might have been expected then – firms like Ducati and Triumph seem to be further along the electric pathway, not even considering the advances of the likes of Zero and Energica who’ve been selling electric bikes for years. But it looks like we’ll have electric powered Honda motorcycles and scooters on sale soon.

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