And some competitors may have been caught off-guard.
Volkswagen is not the only major automaker betting big on electric vehicles. While the German automaker has pledged a $50 billion investment in EV development and production, Honda is also putting itself on the fast-track to an electrified future. Thing is, it'll begin in Europe only for now. Not long ago, Honda Europe announced its 'Electric Vision' strategy that will see all of its mainstream models electrified in some form by 2025.
But now, Honda has moved that date up by three years. Beginning in 2022, every single new vehicle it sells in Europe will be electrified, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and pure EVs. This acceleration will see the launch of six electrified models over the next 36 months. The all-new Honda e and hybrid-only Jazz, aka the Fit, have already begun the plan. Honda has also just revealed its new 'e:Technology' global branding that will be applied to all new electrified vehicles.
For example, the all-new Jazz will carry the 'e:HEV' badge, standing for 'Hybrid Electric Vehicle.' "The pace of change in regulation, the market, and consumer behavior in Europe means that the shift towards electrification is happening faster here than anywhere else in the world," said Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President of Honda Motor Europe. "As the pace of change continues to accelerate, we need to act sooner to meet these challenges head-on."
While this plan is not being directly applied to the US yet, there are already clear-cut signs of Honda's electrified future here, such as the all-new CR-V Hybrid. The Honda e's unique electric car platform, as Honda previous revealed to us, has been homologated for North America as well.
As of now, the Honda e will remain an overseas-only model, but eventually, its platform will arrive stateside. Honda has also signed a letter of intent with energy company Vattenfall for renewable energy resources to power vehicles' charging needs. The UK and Germany will be the first two countries to receive this clean energy starting next year and more markets will follow.