Report: Honda’s new CEO sees potential in EV market

Honda FCX Clarity

Honda Motors Co. CEO Takanobu Ito said that there could be a huge demand for battery-powered electric-vehicles, making the strongest endorsement of the technology that his predecessor ignored as impractical. The second-biggest Japanese automaker has plans to launch a plug-in hybrid and pure electric-car in 2012.

“It’s starting to look like there will be a market for electric vehicles (EVs),” Ito said. “We can’t keep shooting down their potential, and we can’t say there’s no business case for it.”

His predecessor, Takeo Fukui, had been a strong supporter of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and ignored electric-vehicles as the best solution for alternative zero-emission vehicles.

“The thing is, not everybody needs to drive 500 km a day,” Ito said. “Plug-in hybrids are essentially for people who drive short distances, but it has the handicap of having an engine, a motor and a stack of batteries,” he said. “Why wouldn’t you just drive an EV?”

At the 2010 LA Auto Show, Honda has plans to unveil an new EV concept and plans for a plug-in hybrid platform showcasing the next-generation of Honda hybrid technology.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Reuters