Japan’s Honda Motor Co. plans a ¥5-trillion investment, about $40 billion, over the next 10 years to create 30 models of all-electric vehicles (EVs), making up 40 percent of the company’s line-up, Japan’s second largest car maker announced this month.
Honda intends to make two million EVs a year by 2030, CEO Toshihiro Mibe said, as part of its plan to eliminate gas-powered vehicles from its catalog by 2040.
It plans to sell a lot of those cars in China, where it will introduce five EV models within five years and build several production plants in the country.
The company has “clear plans in place” for its shift to profitable EV production and “we are moving steadily forward in line with those plans,” Mibe said in a press briefing on 12 April.
In March, Honda issued $2.75 billion worth of “green bonds” to fund its development and production of EVs and may issue more, he added.
The company also has partnered with General Motors to co-develop EV technology platforms, is working with Sony to build EVs that will enter the market in 2025,  and is mulling a collaboration with another company to develop EV batteries and plans to debut a solid-state EV battery in 2024.
We detailed the advantages of solid-state batteries in “SES Breaks Ground, and Barrier, on Solid-State EV Batteries” (9 Nov 2021).
“How they source EV batteries is much more important than how much they invest in EVs,” Sanshiro Fukao, senior fellow at the Itochu Research Institute, told the Financial Times.
Honda’s goal in its partnerships is to cut not only development times, but also to make EVs more affordable.
“Once we’ve achieved large volumes of millions of EVs, we’ll be able to drastically reduce costs,” Mibe said. 
Meanwhile, the company will continue to make hybrid vehicles, “which will be our strength in 2030 or even 2035,” Mibe said.
TREND FORECAST: Given the dire outlook for lithium supplies, which we detailed in “Lack of Lithium Makes EV Boom Unsustainable, Supplier Says” in this issue, adopting new battery technologies will be key to Honda’s success.
The company is likely to follow the industry’s trend and move toward solid-state batteries.

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