Honda details plans to sell electric vehicles only in North America by 2040

Riley Beggin
The Detroit News
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Honda Motor Co. plans to sell all zero-emission vehicles in North America by 2040, the company announced Friday, including battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles.

The announcement comes amid a wave of auto manufacturers ramping up plans to electrify their fleets, as rising climate fears and global market trends have made electrification the industry's path forward.

An Ubitricity charging column for electric cars stands on display next to a Honda E electric car during the press days at the 2019 IAA Frankfurt Auto Show on September 11, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany.

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The Japanese automaker plans to ramp up to the goal over time, seeking sales of 40% electrified vehicles by 2030 and 80% by 2035. Honda said it is partnering with General Motors Co. to develop two large-sized electric vehicles using GM's Ultium batteries, which will be introduced to the North American market in model year 2024 under the Honda and Acura brands. 

In the second half of the decade, Honda will launch a series of new electric vehicles in North America using a new platform called e:Architecture. 

The announcement comes the day after President Joe Biden announced a new goal to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 50% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade, more than doubling previous goals set by former President Barack Obama. It also comes the day after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Japan would seek to cut emissions by 46% by 2030. 

Biden's administration has made tackling climate change a top priority — in part by speeding electrification of the auto industry. The administration has proposed $174 billion in the jobs and infrastructure package to prepare the U.S. to "win" the electric vehicle market, including funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, consumer incentives and research and development subsidies. 

Toyota Motor Corp. also provided an update Thursday of its electrification plans first set in 2015, saying it was on track to meet its goal of selling 5.5 million electrified vehicles globally by 2030.

The company said it will strive to reduce average carbon emissions per vehicle during driving by 90% compared to 2010 levels by 2050.

Major automakers have been announcing billions in electric vehicle investments as analysts expect global EV sales to skyrocket in the coming years, though the vehicles still make up only a small sliver of overall new car sales. 

GM pledged earlier this year to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and to make its global products and operations carbon neutral by 2040. Ford Motor Co. has said its European passenger-vehicle lineup will be "zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid" by mid-2026 and all-electric by 2030. Stellantis NV has plans to offer an electrified option for 96% of all its models in the U.S. by 2025.

rbeggin@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @rbeggin

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