Honda, in response to the evolving automotive landscape leaning towards electric vehicles (EVs), is gearing up to bolster its competitive stance by introducing more affordable EVs, according to CEO Toshihiro Mibe. The Japanese automaker is set to diversify its lineup with an electric successor to the immensely popular Civic model.
Revealed at the recent CES event, Honda introduced two new EV concepts under its “0 series” electric brand. Emphasizing a return to fundamentals, the company aimed for a “design for the new era,” presenting a distinctive and streamlined aesthetic for its EV series.
The inaugural passenger EV from this new brand will take the form of a sedan, based on the flagship concept. Anticipated to hit the market in 2026, the electric sedan will be succeeded by an SUV shortly thereafter. Speculation suggests that the sedan may serve as an electric replacement for Honda's all-time best-selling model, the Civic, as reported by Autocar.
CEO Mibe emphasized the imperative need for more affordable EVs to increase market penetration. Honda is actively working on advancing battery technology for next-gen batteries that are not only cost-effective but also lighter. Contrary to reducing battery size, the company is focused on innovative approaches to enhance battery tech.
Although Honda previously collaborated with GM on a $5 billion plan to develop affordable EVs, the project was abandoned as GM shifted its strategy to make future vehicles more cost-effective. Mibe acknowledged the challenges even in a joint venture, stating, “It would have been a challenge” to bring an affordable EV to market. Honda has opted to independently pursue the development of affordable EVs, exploring alternative strategies to achieve this goal.
In parallel developments, Honda's recently unveiled Sustaina-C concept is speculated to offer insights into the company's vision for an affordable EV. Meanwhile, the automaker withdrew its E minicar from the European market after a brief three-year run, representing its initial foray into mass-market affordable EVs.
In the United States, the 2024 Honda Prologue, the company's inaugural electric SUV, boasts nearly 300 miles of range and starts at $47,400 (excluding destination charges). Honda's strategic moves underscore its commitment to navigating the dynamic landscape of the burgeoning electric vehicle market.