Driving electric vehicle adoption

Will Honda Be an EV Leader in the US?

Japan’s Honda is late to the electric vehicle (EV) game, but that might work in the company’s favor. It has a substantial and loyal customer base in the US for its internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and hybrids. The company hopes customers will choose their BEVs and hybrids as drivers transition away from Honda’s and other automakers’ ICE vehicles. It looks like Honda may be an EV leader in the US in 2025.

Honda’s Prologue is its only all-electric vehicle currently available. The sporty SUV runs on a platform developed in a collaboration with GM. Honda offers hybrid versions of its Civic, Accord and CR-V, completing its electrified lineup. Honda’s and other automakers’ hybrids have been selling well recently, due to several reasons, most significantly a lack of available charging. An interesting new Honda hybrid was announced recently, the 2025 CR-V e:FCEV. Honda claims it is the first plug-in Fuel Cell EV in North America.

(Image: Honda)

In April, Honda announced investments of $700 million in its Ohio-based plants, with capabilities to produce ICE vehicles as well as EVs. In May, Honda announced bold plans to make its EVs and FCEVs represent 40% of its global auto sales as of 2030, and 80% of its lineup be EVs by 2035. The plan includes making EVs represent 100% of its global vehicle sales by 2040, when the company plans going fully electric. To jump-start this, Honda is investing $65B in EVs through fiscal year 2031.

Honda plans to build a vertically integrated EV value chain, with a partnership announced in March. Honda and partner LG Solution announced a new EV battery production facility near Jeffersonville, Ohio, investing $4.4B. Vertical integration of batteries and other components is a key to EV success, as China’s BYD has demonstrated. The facility will provide batteries for Honda and Acura EVs.

(Image: Honda)

GM Plans to Lead the Rest of the Pack, Will Honda Compete?

There was an EV sales growth slowdown in Q1, however the rest of 2024 and into 2025 is looking great. EV sales have been booming for Ford, Cadillac, Hyundai, Rivian, Mercedes, BMW and Toyota.

GM is planning a big EV push this year, leading with its recently released Equinox. A GM spokesman said the company is aiming to exclusively sell electric vehicles by 2035. “We are at a turning point where EVs will be the mainstream choice for the next generation of customers and Equinox EV will lead this charge for us,” said Mary Barra, Chair and CEO of General Motors.

(Image: Chevrolet)

In May, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said that the company plans to offer a $25,000 all-electric Jeep vehicle in the U.S. “very soon.”

In response to customer demand, Ford announced expanding its hybrid lineup, while delaying battery electric vehicles (BEVs.) The company pushed back the production start of its next-generation EVs at the Ford BlueOval City EV campus in Tennessee. The initial kickoff was moved from 2025 to a start in 2026.

(Image: Ford)

Losses by Tesla, VW, and Nissan May Help Honda

The reason for the EV sales growth slowdown in Q1 was that GM, Tesla, Nissan and VW did poorly in Q1, while the others flourished. Tesla does not have any new vehicles slated to release soon, so its losses may continue throughout the year. Nissan postponed a push to build five new EVs at its Canton, Mississippi, plant. So, things don’t look positive for Nissan at the moment.

The time seems ripe for a company such as Honda to move in with some bold EV offerings to grab market share. Honda is planning to officially start Honda and Acura EV production in its Ohio facilities in 2025, including the exciting Acura ZDX. Could 2025 be Honda’s year to dominate EV? So far, GM looks to be its strongest competition, as Tesla’s future is uncertain, unless it releases its promised low cost models soon.

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