Honda CEO Sees EV Potential
Honda Motors CEO Takanobu Ito said that there could be a “huge demand for battery-powered electric-vehicles,” in the near future. This is currently the strongest endorsement of alternative fuel technology Ito has made, while his predecessor ignored it as impractical. The Japanese automaker has plans to launch a plug-in hybrid, as well as a pure electric-car by 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.”
Takeo Fukui, Honda’s previous CEO, was a strong supporter of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. He wrote off 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?”
Honda plans to unveil an new EV concept soon. The company is also hard at work on plans for a plug-in hybrid platform, showcasing the next-generation of Honda hybrid technology.