TOKYO: Japan’s Honda Motor Co. said Wednesday that it will launch two Honda-brand electric vehicle models in China next spring and add eight more within five years.
The two models — the e:NS1 and e:NP1 SUVs — will be the first Honda-brand electric vehicles introduced in China, the world’s largest vehicle market.
All new models Honda will launch in China in 2030 and later will be electrified vehicles, also including hybrid vehicles.
To boost its electrified vehicle production capacity, Honda will build an electric vehicle plant in China with its operations seen starting in 2024.
The automaker may export electric vehicles produced at the plant to other markets.
Among Honda’s rivals in Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. have already launched their EV models in China.
Toyota plans to raise the share of electrified models in all of its vehicles sold in China to 100 pct in 2035, with half of them either electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles.
Nissan aims to reach 100 pct in all major markets including China in the early 2030s.
Also on Wednesday, Honda unveiled the revamped Honda Sensing driver-assistance system, saying that it will be mounted on four-wheel vehicles sold in China from next year.
The system has improved automatic braking equipment that detects pedestrians when the vehicle turns left or right at crossings. By 2030, Honda aims to make the system standard equipment for all models sold in advanced countries.