As part of its long-term development strategy, Honda said that its environmentally friendly cars would account for two-thirds of the total sales volume by the end of the next decade.
Alongside the announced changes to its management and to the organizational structure, Honda also detailed its long-term strategy of expanding the green cars lineup. Japan’s third-biggest automaker by sales said that for cutting the emissions within its models, in addition to the advancement of downsized turbo engines, it would position plug-in hybrids at the core of electrification process in the future. As the first step, Honda will introduce an all-new plug-in hybrid model in North America by 2018, that shares the same production platform as its Clarity FCV announced in October, Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo said. “After that, we will make a plug-in hybrid type available for our major models and increase the number of models sequentially,” he added. The next-generation fuel cell system, which is being developed jointly with General Motors, will move on to the next stage that includes production and purchasing, aiming at a product launch around 2020. With these plans in mind, Honda aims to make plug-in hybrids, hybrids and zero-emissions vehicles such as FCVs and battery-powered EVs, to be accounted for two-thirds of its overall unit sales by around 2030.
Honda’s new-energy target featured in the automaker’s strategy update has restructured personnel and operations to revitalize the research and development department. On Tuesday, Honda said managing officer Yoshiyuki Matsumoto would be in charge of R&D, moving on from leading automotive operations. “Our appointment of a new head of the R&D center is intended to position R&D at the center of all product development, and make it responsible for the design and performance of each and every vehicle,” Hachigo said.