The automaker defends its slow rollout of electric cars saying that it's "just the same as infrastructure development."
Honda's pace of full electrification has come under scrutiny, as the company trails behind its competitors in Europe with the launch of its latest EV, the e:Ny1. Speaking to Autocar, Honda Motor Europe president Katsuhisa Okuda defended the automaker's relatively slow pace, citing the real-world limitations of full-electric models and the need for infrastructure development.
Of note, the Honda e is the only full-electric car currently available in European showrooms; the recently unveiled e:Ny1 won't join the pint-sized model for several months. Compared to other automakers currently selling EVs in the Old Continent, the Japanese marque isn't exactly a podium contender.
This is apparently intentional. Okuda backed Honda's pace in Europe by saying that the automaker's "EV development is just the same as infrastructure development, in terms of public charging availability."
In the US, Honda's pace is even slower with no full-electric model currently on offer. If everything falls into place, this will change in 2024 when the GM Ultium-based EV, the Prologue, is expected to arrive.
"In the end, we believe that in 2040 or 2050, the infrastructure will be well developed and then our many customers can enjoy EVs. Until then, our plug-in hybrid is a good option for commuting and for longer weekend drives. It's very realistic and practical," Okuda told Autocar.
Speaking of plug-in hybrids, Honda also debuted the CR-V PHEV in Europe this month, together with the ZR-V. However, Okuda refused to confirm if another PHEV is on the way.
The recently revealed Honda e:Ny1 shares its body with the European-spec HR-V, albeit using a chassis specifically designed for EVs. Its power output is rated at 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque, drawing power from a lithium-ion battery that provides a maximum range of 256 miles based on the WLTP cycle. Honda's newest EV can utilize DC fast charging, with a charge rate from 10% to 80% in just 45 minutes.
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