Honda’s future EV plans take shape – headlined by all-electric S2000 and NSX reboots
The Japanese giant is gearing up for its transition to EVs, and there’s two electric sports cars in the plan
Honda has committed to a £30 billion investment in an electric vehicle research and development program over the next 10 years as it gears up for a future dominated by EV production. The Japanese giant announced these plans in a public briefing, setting a roadmap for its transition towards global electrification – a plan that includes the development of two high performance reboots of the S2000 roadster and NSX supercar.
This program will focus on two main streams: first the introduction of 30 new all-electric models globally by 2030, and the second a deeper investment into solid-state battery technology, a development path that’s widely accepted as the major step up in battery tech that will unlock the full potential of battery electric vehicles.
In the lead up to this new expansion, Honda has consolidated its current automotive business, reducing complexity and diversity in its global ranges. It has also streamlined its global production – a move that in part forced the closure of Honda’s Swindon plant in the UK.
This has released the resource and capacity to develop those 30 new vehicles aimed at three core market streams, a huge task for any manufacturer. These will be focused around the North American, Japanese domestic and Chinese markets, with development skewed towards their respective deliverables. Honda is projecting that this expansion will reach a production output of 2 million units per year, bringing with it its own challenges around manufacturing capacity and procurement.
Batteries are the main sticking point in terms of volume, so Honda has already made steps to secure a stable supply of lithium ion batteries in different global markets on the scale it needs to hit those target numbers. In the United States, this involves a new high-profile partnership with General Motors who will both initially supply battery cells to Honda’s American EV models as well as partner up in the development of two new mid-size EV models developed specifically for the American market due for launch in 2024. It will also see the introduction of a new joint architecture in 2026, and by 2027 Honda and GM will launch a jointly developed low-cost EV.
Beyond its partnership with GM, Honda is also looking to create a joint venture in the production of its own batteries in the USA. In Japan and China, Honda will strengthen relationships with existing suppliers. This will coincide with Honda’s accelerated solid-state battery development in Japan, where it plans to complete construction of a new facility that should have prototype solid-state battery production underway by mid-2024.
The good news is that within all this vehicle diversity, the sports car is very much a part of the plan. Two different sports models are in development, both promising to channel Honda’s fine history of precision high performance engineering. We’ve even been given a first glance of what to expect, with an image revealing a clear long-bonnet sports car and a mid-engined supercar under digital coverings. It might be easy to look back and assume these two sports models will be inspired by a couple of iconic high performance models from the past, the correlation to the S2000 and NSX is tantalisingly close…