The Japanese automaker is seemingly looking to expedite its electric vehicle development through this latest crucial collaboration with a major automotive technology company.
Honda and Hitachi Automotive Systems (HAS) have agreed to form a new joint venture that will develop, produce and commercialize electric vehicles. Both companies are investing 5 billion yen initially into the new company, with HAS taking a majority 51 percent stake to Honda’s 49 percent. The new deal is probably part of the strategy of Honda’s self-set ambitious goal of selling two-third electrified models by the next half-decade. That was announced back in October last year when Honda established the new Electric Vehicle Development Division.
Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo previously explained to the media the company will introduce two electric vehicles in 2018, though it’s still unknown if they will be marketed through Honda or the newly co-owned brand. The first one will have “a high-density, lightweight battery pack, integrated heat management and the evolution of energy transfer functions – both to and from the vehicle”, complete with better practicality through “greater freedom in the design of vehicle packaging”. The model should see a first official release at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September or later at the Tokyo Motor Show.