Honda to produce electric vehicles in China in 2012

19 Apr 2011

Honda has its sights set on starting the production of electric vehicles in China in 2012, with plans to test out demand for electric cars.

Speaking at Auto Shanghai 2011 today, Honda’s president and CEO Takanobu Ito said Honda and the city of Guangzhou and Guangzhou Automobile Group have reached a basic agreement to conduct demonstration testing of electric vehicles (EVs).

“This testing will verify how practical and convenient the EVs Honda is currently developing will be within the city of Guangzhou and what will be the ideal infrastructure for society toward achieving the widespread use of EVs. Moreover, Honda is working toward the goal to begin production of EVs in China in 2012,” said Ito.

Hybrid models

With China maintaining its position as the world’s largest automobile market, Honda is also planning to accelerate its growth in China by introducing the Insight hybrid model and the CR-Z and Fit hybrid models in 2012. These vehicles will initially be imported from Japan, said Ito this morning. The Civic Hybrid is already sold in China.

“We are also preparing for local production of these hybrid vehicles in China so as to offer hybrids to our Chinese customers as quickly and with prices as reasonable as possible. This will include obtaining core components of the hybrid system, such as the battery and motor in China,” said Ito.

At the Shanghai expo today, Honda also gave a powertrain display of Honda’s original IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) hybrid system with a lithium-ion battery.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic