Honda e will go on sale in Japan next month
Senior Chief Engineer Tomofumi Ichinose poses for a photo next to a Honda e electric car. (Reuters photo)
TOKYO: Honda Motor Co announced on Thursday that it will begin selling its first mass-produced electric car on October 30 in Japan as part of its drive to electrify much of its vehicles over the next decade.
The new compact four-seater “Honda e”, with a suggested retail price of 4.51 million yen ($ 42,500), has a range of up to 283 kilometers according to the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Procedure standard.
Although its range is considerably less than that of larger electric vehicles, including the cheapest Model 3 from Tesla Inc and the Leaf from Nissan Motor Co, the Honda e has the latest information technology such as door locks. door and starter controlled by smartphone.
The car can also be equipped with a side mirror system and an automatic parking function.
The highest finish of the Honda e will cost 4.95 million yen. The model is eligible for central and local government grants.
Honda plans to sell 1,000 units per year of the new model in Japan. It already launched the vehicle in Europe earlier this month, with an annual sales target of 10,000 units.
Honda is aiming for electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, plug-in hybrids and other hybrids to account for two-thirds of its cars sold globally by 2030.
Nissan has pursued electric vehicles more aggressively than its domestic competitors, although European brands are catching up with Tesla and Chinese manufacturers faster.
In July, Nissan unveiled its new Ariya EV crossover which will go on sale in Japan in mid-2021 and in other major markets including North America, Europe and China by the end of the year.
Toyota Motor Corp plans to introduce a small two-seater electric car primarily intended for older drivers later this year in Japan.
Toyota, which sold more than 9.7 million vehicles in 2019, aims to increase its global sales of electric vehicles, including hybrid cars, to 5.5 million units by 2025.