Early Honda EV goals could be uphill climb

Honda is likely to face a heavy lift in the EV space, at least in the early days, analysts said.

Competitors such as Hyundai Motor Group are far out front, with multiple second-generation EVs going on sale this year and next year.

Moreover, it’s difficult to predict consumer behavior with dozens of new electric vehicles planned for North America in just the next few years.

“While EVs are coming, these grand ideas with millions of drivers eagerly awaiting the chance to turn in their traditional vehicle for the latest EV are quite overblown,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions. “For Honda to reach half a million EVs by 2030, it will take a combination of incentives, infrastructure improvements, greatly improved battery technologies and, above all, a dramatic change in the way buyers think about EVs,” he said.

Gardner told Automotive News in June that Honda Motor Co. is the world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines with the inclusion of its motorcycle, power products and HondaJet offerings.

“It’s a fair comment to make about Honda that we weren’t the leaders in the race to battery-electric vehicles,” Gardner said. “We now have our direction. …We now need to move quickly and decisively to get going where we’re going.”

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