Honda said it will stop selling gas-powered vehicles by 2040. The automaker expects 40 percent of its sales globally to be comprised of battery-electric and fuel-cell vehicles by 2030, followed by 80 percent in 2035, and 100 percent of sales by 2040.
Honda is the latest car company to commit to an all-electric future, with General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Volvo, and others making similar promises in recent months. Honda also said it would “strive to realize carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities” by 2050.
The announcement came from Honda’s new CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, who took the helm in April. Speaking at a press conference, Mibe said that Honda was committed to helping Japan’s government reach its climate goal of a 46 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. “I believe it is the responsibility of an automaker to achieve our carbon-free goal on a ‘tank-to-wheel’ basis,” Mibe said, according to Reuters.
Mibe said Honda will invest a total of about 5 trillion yen ($46.3 billion) in research and development initiatives, including electrification, over the next six years.
Honda’s current electric lineup is limited. The automaker recently discontinued its Clarity EV, though it will continue to sell hydrogen and plug-in hybrid versions of the vehicle. Its Honda E electric city car started selling in Europe last summer. Honda also has plans to work with GM on the release of two new EVs, using the American company’s modular vehicle platform. And Honda has said it would release two electric SUVs in North America, but not until 2024.
Honda’s electrification strategy will also extend to its lineup of motorcycles and scooters. The company plans to release three new electric models “in the area of personal use” by 2024, as well as an electric motorcycle.
Japanese automakers — Toyota in particular — once were the leaders in hybrid vehicles but have lagged behind American companies in the all-electric vehicle market in recent years. But with California banning sales of new internal-combustion engine vehicles by 2035, and the Biden administration moving toward taking the government vehicle fleet all-electric along with other plans to reduce emissions, automakers have their EV work cut out for them.