TOKYO: Honda Motor Co. President Toshihiro Mibe hinted on Friday at the possibility of the major Japanese automaker moving up its plan for all of the automobiles it sells globally to be electrified vehicles by 2040.
“While examining the adequacy of the plan, we will modify it when necessary,” Mibe told Jiji Press and other media organizations, with environmental regulations set to be strengthened further in Europe and other markets.
In April, Honda said it will make all of its automobile lineup electrified vehicles, such as electric and fuel-cell vehicles.
On Wednesday, the European Union announced its policy of banning the sale of new combustion engine vehicles in 2035. Canada will also ban the sale of such vehicles.
Honda currently plans to raise the share of electric and fuel-cell vehicles sold in advanced countries to 80 pct of its overall vehicle sales there in 2035.
But the tightening of environmental regulations in Europe has been moving at a faster pace than Honda’s environment protection efforts.
The strengthening of regulations “has been moved up day by day,” Mibe said, adding that “we can’t do business unless we adopt international standards.”
Honda is slated to end production of its Clarity fuel-cell vehicle by the end of this year in line with the closure of a plant in Sayama in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo.
“We have no choice but to end the production,” Mibe said.
The company faces delays in developing its next fuel-cell vehicle models, due partly to the fallout from the novel coronavirus crisis.
“We will definitely launch the next model, even after a hiatus,” the president said, underling the importance of beefing up the company’s lineup of fuel-cell vehicles, on top of electric vehicles.