Its official! Honda doesn't trust EVs. A week after Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn reiterated the company's support for electric cars along with plans to bring four EV models to market, Honda remain uncommitted about the future of Honda EVs.
Honda's president of research and development, Tomohiko Kawanabe spoke candidly about his skepticism of electric drivetrain systems. He confirmed that while Honda plan to sell electric cars in California to comply with emissions laws in that state, making EVs is far down the list of Honda's priorities.
Tomohiko Kawanabe's response to questions on the future of Honda and any EV was delivered with an air of a child forced to play with an annoying younger sibling.
"We are definitely conducting research on electric cars, but I can't say I can wholeheartedly recommend them" explained Kawanabe. "It's questionable whether consumers will accept the annoyances of limited driving range and having to spend time charging them"
A modified Honda EV Plus blazes a trail for EVs at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb.
Under new California Air Resources Board regulations, Honda must sell a combined 60,000 electric and plug in hybrid cars between 2012 through 2014 in order to sell vehicles in the state.
Honda's last EV, the EV Plus, was produced in limited numbers in the late 1990s and had a range of 100 miles. Approximately 340 vehicles were made and leased to customers in California but never sold privately.
Despite positive feedback from customers, all EV Plusses were taken back by Honda at the end of the lease period. Honda destroyed the cars, citing various reasons for doing so. Some components survived, serving as the basis for Honda's hydrogen research vehicles at the time.
2009 Honda FCX Clarity, being delivered to 19-year-old actress Q’orianka Kilcher
Honda's latest EV concept, the EV-N, was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last October. Unless this vehicle or one like it is soon announced as a production model Honda risks loosing out on not only market share of new EV sales, but potentially the ability to sell in California.