Times are changing. Fast.
For Honda, the writing is on the wall: diesels are dead. Why bother continuing to invest and develop a powertrain technology that will likely soon be banned in numerous global markets due to excessive emissions? It makes no business sense. Electric propulsion systems, however, are another thing entirely. Reuters reports that the Japanese automaker has announced plans to phase out all diesels cars in Europe by 2021. All-electric models, beginning with the just-revealed Honda e, will take their place and will do so very quickly.
By 2025, Honda's entire new model European lineup will be electrified. Honda is not the only automaker planning to cut or drastically limit diesel production, but the pace at which it plans to do so is impressive. By 2030, its goal is to have battery electric vehicles account for two-thirds of its global model lineup.
Today, that figure is less than 10 percent. Europe is Honda's first focus for good reason: starting next year, the European Union will require C02 emissions to be cut to 95 grams per km for 95 percent of vehicles. There is currently a 120.5-gram average. As buyers increasingly prefer SUVs over the past few years this figure has gone up and the EU is determined to curb it.
Come 2021, every single new vehicle sold in Europe must be compliant with these regulations. The fact that Honda, Japan's No. 3 automaker, is already laying the groundwork for a diesel-free future in a market that once relied heavily on oil burners, will also serve as a reminder to its competitors.
Honda is also reducing the number of car model variants it sells by a third in order to save on production costs. This will be completed by 2025 and the savings will be used towards more research and development for – you guessed it – electric powertrains and future mobility solutions. For now, there's only pure EV for sale in the US, the Clarity Electric, but it's not available in all markets. What Honda does offer are plenty of hybrids, such as the Insight, Accord Hybrid, and the new for 2020 CR-V Hybrid crossover.