According to Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo, it’s hybrid cars which are the future, and electric cars won’t become mainstream buys any time soon.
It’s widely expected, at least by Volkswagen, that 2020 will be the tipping point for electric cars, as a new raft of EVs – lead by the VW ID. 3 – start to be built in big numbers at (relatively) affordable prices.
But, as we’ve said many times before, this headlong leap in to delivering a range of electric cars – especially by Volkswagen – is a huge leap of faith because there is little evidence of pent-up demand for EVs to drive the shift from ICE to electric.
Instead of car makers responding to demand, they’re seeking to drive demand and sales with appealing production models in order to manage their average CO2 emissions and avoid major penalties but, although we really appreciate and enjoy many of the new wave of EVs, they’re still expensive and still a bit ‘left field’.
Now, one major car maker, Honda, has come out and said that they don’t believe electric cars can become mainstream any time soon, and that hybrid cars are the real future.
Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Honda CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, said of EVs:
Are there really customers who truly want them? I’m not so sure because there are lots of issues regarding infrastructure and hardware. I do not believe there will be a dramatic increase in demand for battery vehicles, and I believe this situation is true globally. There are different regulations in different countries, and we have to abide by them. So it’s a must to continue r&d. But I don’t believe it will become mainstream anytime soon.
It’s perhaps the most honest statement yet from a major car maker, and makes a lot of sense. So although Honda are moving in to EVs with the new, and very appealing, Honda-e, they’re doing so by targeting a niche market of trendy urbanites looking for a statement EV that doesn’t need huge batteries and mass appeal to work.
So although Honda will be delivering EVs, and continue R&D, they see the future of electrification as hybrids, using long-standing ICE technology enhanced with electrification to deliver sustainably appealing cars for their markets, which will also deliver reduced emissions and improved economy.