Honda revealed its plans Tuesday to release ten new electric motorcycles by the end of 2025 to help the Japanese automaker reach its sustainability goals, yet Honda has been relatively slow rolling out a full-size EV. When exactly can we expect a fully electric vehicle from Honda in North America?
As most (if not all) global automakers are racing to introduce new EV models, Honda and other Japanese automakers have fallen behind.
Meanwhile, Honda is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, with over 400 million cumulative sales. They are also the largest maker of internal combustion engines, which may be a reason for Honda’s hesitancy toward fully electric vehicles.
However, Honda’s latest announcement to introduce ten new electric motorcycles may be a sign of what’s to come next from the Japanese automaker.
Honda revealed plans for four electric motorcycles in 2021 after seeing success from EV startups like Zero Motorcycles and Energica.
In March 2022, Honda announced its first production electric motorcycle, the CRF-E2. The CRF-E2 is a smaller electric dirt bike built for kids with a 1.2 kW electric motor and a peak rating of 2.5 kW. The 106-pound EV dirt bike has a swappable 20Ah lithium-ion battery for easy charging.
With Tuesday’s announcement, Honda aims to release ten new electric motorcycles by 2025, with annual sales of 3.5 million units by 2030, or about 15% of total sales. All new Honda e-motorcycles will use its solid-state batteries, which are currently under development and slated to hit production in 2024.
The automaker claims the electric models are part of Honda’s strategy to hit carbon neutrality in its motorcycle unit by 2040. Will we see Honda use this technology to transition to full-size EVs?
Honda’s first product was its A-Type bicycle engine, which sparked it to become one of the largest global automakers. Can Honda do the same with electric vehicles?
Electric motorcycles are a start, but when will we see full-size Honda EVs?
Honda has yet to deliver a single 100% battery-powered EV in North America. To be fair, the automaker has seemingly stepped up its efforts over the past few months as it released a sketch of its first mass-market EV model, the Honda Prologue.
The fully electric SUV will be built on GM’s Ultium platform (which the new Chevy Equinox EV is based on) and is set to arrive in 2024. In addition, Honda says it will release an Acura SUV EV around the same time.
Furthermore, the Japanese automaker says more “Honda-engineered EVs will begin building in North America coming to market in 2026.”
Honda shared an updated timeline for its North American EV rollout, which includes:
- Honda Prologue sales starting in 2024;
- New EV models will begin production in 2026 on Honda’s new e:Architecture;
- A new affordable EV series begins production in 2027 on a newly developed vehicle platform with GM.
As a result, Honda predicts North American EV sales to reach 500,000 by 2030. Is it possible?
Honda sold around 4.1 million automobiles total in the automaker 2022 fiscal year, so 500,000 EVs by 2030 is easily achievable. On top of this, Honda sold about 17 million motorcycles, so it makes sense for them to focus on electric motorcycles first.
Although Honda already has plans for a fully electric vehicle (the Prologue), focusing on its motorcycle segment may help the automaker hit its climate goals quicker.
Honda doesn’t want to give up its commanding lead in the motorcycle market as it sees electric motorcycles as a threat. The urgency may transition to its automating segment as EV demand continues climbing in all major markets.
However, Honda can’t wait much longer if they want to compete in the North American EV market. GM, Ford, Volkswagen, etc., all have several highly anticipated electric vehicle releases coming in the next few years.
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