Honda aims for green cars to make up two-thirds of line-up by 2030

Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:26am EST
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By Naomi Tajitsu

TOKYO (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T: Quote) on Wednesday said it aimed for new-energy vehicles to account for two-thirds of its line-up by 2030 from around 5 percent now, as increasingly stringent global emissions regulations prompt automakers to make greener cars.

Japan's third-biggest automaker by sales said in its latest strategy update that its petrol-battery hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles (FCV) would collectively outnumber its petrol-only offerings in less than 15 years' time.

Plug-in hybrids - which can also be recharged via household wall sockets - will be "at the core of electrification in the future" for Honda, said Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo.

Honda will release a plug-in hybrid in North America by 2018 that shares the same production platform as its Clarity FCV announced in October, Hachigo said. It will then make plug-in versions of its major models and raise model numbers, he said.

The announcement makes Honda the latest automaker to set dramatic long-term emissions-related targets. In October, Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote) said it aimed to cut new vehicles' average carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent from 2010 levels by 2050.

Behind the push are governments globally rapidly raising emissions standards. But limited infrastructure such as charging stations make some green cars a hard sell, while low oil prices have sparked demand for sport utility vehicles and other petrol-guzzlers.

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The 2014 Honda Accord plug-in hybrid is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan January 14, 2013. REUTERS/James Fassinger