Even so, it will introduce two new electric models in 2024.
Honda has dabbled with electrified products in the past with models such as the Clarity but its approach has been notably slower than that of compatriot companies like Toyota and Nissan. While these two Japanese manufacturers are diving into the EV sphere head-first, Honda is still trying to find its footing, particularly in the USA.
According to an interview conducted by Bloomberg, Dave Gardner, executive vice president of Honda US, gave some insights regarding the brand's approach to electrification in the local region. It is expected that the brand will soon announce a decision regarding where it will be assembling its electric cars but the question of demand is still being asked.
Two fully electric products will be produced in the USA in conjunction with General Motors, which will be supplying the batteries. Electrification strategies have been pushed forward by Honda, which is in line with industry trends and shifting government policy, but caution regarding the adoption rates remains. "We've told our Honda dealers that initially this is going to be very regional", Gardner says.
He adds: "What is the consumer uptake? Right now, I think that's something that's a little out of whack". This refers to other automakers rushing to get electric cars introduced to the market. As part of its global strategy, Honda is looking at phasing gasoline-powered products by 2040 but, rather than satisfying consumer demands, Gardner argues that the introduction of EVs is motivated by tighter state and national fuel economy standards. Essentially, he's suggesting that buyers don't really want all these EVs yet but that governments are forcing automakers to offer them.
Furthermore, Honda is looking at the US government to assist in boosting demand for electric vehicles through financial incentives. It has also joined a collection of foreign manufacturers that are currently opposing the Biden Administration's plan to offer big discounts to cars assembled in local factories with organized labor. This move would restrict Honda from providing the maximum subsidy to its customers because its plants are non-union.
"It shouldn't matter which American is building the vehicle," said Gardner. The Japanese brand also hasn't declared where the all-electric Honda Prologue and upcoming Acura SUV will be built, but spokeswoman Jessica Fini confirms that this will be announced soon. At the moment, it remains dedicated to its hybrid offerings as it anticipates this will be the market that will purchase its fully electric cars when available. "We believe these hybrid customers will become our first BEV customers in the future," Gardner concludes.