Looking around the automotive world, you see various brands that have substantial electric vehicle goals that are already underway. Why has there been so much silence from the Honda brand?
When will the Honda car dealers be joining the EV mix? Is Honda working on building electric vehicles for us to enjoy driving? There are some answers to all of these questions, and we’re going to explore them to show you where Honda is in regard to the electric vehicles that should become part of the mix from this brand.
Are You Surprised that Honda has been Slow to the EV Market?
Many years ago, Honda was the first to market with the initial version of the Honda Insight, which was a hybrid vehicle. Do you remember this vehicle? Probably not. It wasn’t long before the Toyota Prius hit the market and took over the entire hybrid class, leaving the Insight to be deleted from the market for several years. While Honda and Toyota often compete with each other, they are also tied together with development and technology. We don’t see any Toyota electric vehicles yet, but Toyota has been steadfast in avoiding fully-electric models for now.
When it comes to what Honda is going to do, it appears they have been dragging their feet. We haven’t heard anything from this automaker until recently. Is this silence because they already offer an electric vehicle? The Honda E is a short-range electric vehicle that’s offered in Europe but isn’t made for the US market. Do you remember when this little vehicle was shown off? It was certainly a model we talked about at length, but since that time, there has been mostly silence from Honda and car dealers in the United States who want an electric vehicle to sell.
Honda is Ready to Start Slow
There has been an electric Honda vehicle in the works that will be offered when the 2024 model year arrives. This new EV will bring back the Prologue name and be a crossover that runs on the same Ultium battery pack that’s been developed by General Motors. The initial target for the sales in the United States is only 70,000 units, which doesn’t seem aggressive for a major name like Honda. Some have even called this new goal from this automaker “pathetic” and possibly only being made to satisfy the need to be in the EV market.
The Goal Continues to Grow
Honda car dealers can be a bit excited about the future of potential EV offerings when they see the goals that Honda has set forth after the initial offering of the Prologue SUV. While this new model will arrive in 2024, by the year 2030, this company intends to reach 500,000 in EV sales in North America. Once this secondary goal is achieved, there is a tertiary goal already in place. Honda plans to be an entirely zero-emissions automaker by 2040. This is an aggressive goal and certainly in line with what we hear from other brands.
A Bit of a Drawback in the United States
The current presidential administration has proposed higher incentives for EV models made in the United States by unionized workers. The first part of this, vehicles being made in the United States, isn’t difficult for Honda. They have had factories in place for many years, but their workers are not unionized. This has caused Honda, along with other international automakers, to voice opposition to the proposal by the current President. Will Honda and others allow their workers to become unionized to allow customers to enjoy these added incentives?
The Prologue SUV Will Start in ZEV States
States that follow the California zero-emissions framework will be where the Prologue SUV will be sold first. Honda car dealers in these states are already getting started and ready to receive these vehicles and offer them to customers. These new SUVs will also be offered in Texas and Florida, both states that have many charging stations and large populations to offer the right customer base and infrastructure for the electric vehicle sales that Honda is expecting to reach with this new SUV.
Using the GM Batteries, But That’s It
If the new Honda Prologue SUV is going to be powered by the GM Ultium platform of batteries, which are meant to offer a longer driving range than other lithium-ion batteries, but the rest of the vehicle will be developed by Honda. This will certainly be a Honda when it arrives, and you won’t even notice the power isn’t coming from a Honda part. This new venture of the partnership will go into developing a battery-electric crossover for the Acura brand that will arrive during the 2024 calendar year. Before the end of 2024, Honda will have two electric vehicles on sale in the United States.
Moving From Niche to Mainstream
The small Honda E is considered to be a niche product that allowed Honda to dip the proverbial toe in the electric vehicle world without committing to the future. Now, this brand has made bold statements regarding the future and where they plan to be in the next several years. We will see a new Honda Prologue SUV in 2024, an Acura version later in the same year, excellent sales growth by 2030, and a lineup that has changed completely by 2040. Now, it’s time for Honda to get to work to make this happen.
Is the Prologue a Sign for Things to Come?
The new Honda Prologue SUV is going to show the automotive market what can happen when a partnership is formed. Will there be more suitors for the Ultium battery platform in the next few years, or will there be another battery platform that can offer greater driving ranges and faster charging times? The future of the automotive world seems to be in the development of electric vehicles, and now Honda is finally fully in the mix as a brand that we can turn to for our EV driving needs.
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