Despite electrification plans, Honda expects ICE cars to stick around past 2040

2023 Honda Civic Type R

Honda is finally serious about EVs, with a new investment plan worth USD40 billion through 2030 in an effort to catch up to its international rivals. This includes a USD3.5 billion joint venture with LG for a new battery plant in the US, as the Japanese aims to push its hybrid and fully-electric vehicle sales up to 40% of its sales by the end of the decade.

Despite its commitment to electrification, however, Honda still thinks that the internal combustion engines (ICE) could still be around beyond 2040. “The charging infrastructure is not at a place that it needs to be for our customers,” said Honda President and CEO, Toshihiro Mibe in a Reuters report.

As such, the company has been running feasibility studies on everything from chargers and advanced batteries, to aerial vehicles and rockets, as well as the new carbon-neutral synthetic fuels that could help keep the ICEs around – particularly for performance cars, big trucks, and planes – for another decade or two.

However, Mibe added, “as we move toward carbon neutrality, we are focused on electrification and fuel cells – those are the two core components of future mobility.”

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The Honda Civic RS e:HEV hybrid made its debut in Malaysia late last year. Learn more about it here.

The Japanese will be establishing a new standalone business unit next month, which will oversee the development of its EV and battery business. This could eventually lead to an investment in charging stations, most likely in the United States, to rival the likes of Tesla’s Supercharger network – the latter recently added CCS charging cables to several of its stations to support other EVs other than Tesla’s own.

Honda is also developing its own EV architectures, and will arrive sometime in the 2026 alongside its own advanced batteries for its future models.

“I’ve been in the engine development business for more than 30 years, so personally [electrification is] a little threatening. But I have to separate my own feelings from what is best for the business,” Mibe added.


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