Honda will invest US$65 billion to accelerate EV ambition

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Honda Motor is trying to catch up with its competitors in the global EV market. The Japanese automaker aims to inject JPY10 trillion (US$65 billion) into its EV efforts and launch seven EV models under its flagship series by 2030.

Honda's President Toshihiro Mibe announced the plan on May 16. He said he is confident that automotive electrification will continue in the long term while many in the West said EV sales are slow.

The JPY10 trillion investment, two times what Honda committed in April 2022, will be made through the fiscal year ending in March 2031. According to Nikkei Asia, JPY6 trillion will go to constructing EV factories and developing new EV models. Honda will use the rest of the money for software and battery procurement.

The carmaker targets producing over 2 million EVs annually in 2030, making EVs and fuel-cell EVs represent 40% of its global auto sales. It plans to roll out seven EV models under the Honda 0 Series, the company's flagship electric series, by the end of the decade. These EVs will be equipped with an ultra-thin battery pack and a recently developed compact e-axle.

Honda said it will take various approaches to reduce battery costs in North America by more than 20% in 2030. Its joint EV battery plant with LG Energy Solution in the US, which has an annual production capacity of 40GWh, will start production in 2025.

In the coming years, Honda will begin making batteries it co-developed with GS Yuasa in Canada. The automaker will also build a joint cathode material plant with Posco Future M and a separator factory with Asahi Kasei in Canada. This strategy is expected to help Honda decrease battery material costs.

Separately, Honda announced on May 15 that it has signed an MoU with IBM for the R&D of next-generation computing technologies. The carmaker said the scale-up of AI technologies offers opportunities for Software-Defined Vehicle (SDV) development. SDVs are expected to increase the design complexity, processing performance, and corresponding power consumption of semiconductors.

According to Honda, the MoU with IBM outlines potential joint research of specialized semiconductor technologies such as chiplet and brain-inspired computing, which uses computer architecture and algorithms to mimic the brain's structure and function while optimizing for silicon.

The goal is to improve processing performance and decrease power consumption, Honda said. The company and IBM will also explore software solutions to manage design complexity for future SDVs.