BEIJING – Japan’s Honda Motor will launch a new electric vehicle brand in China next year, it said on Wednesday, and will only launch battery electric, hydrogen fuel-cell or petrol-electric hybrid vehicles there from 2030.
Known for its fuel-efficient internal-combustion engines, Honda sold over 1.6 million vehicles in China last year.
The new brand will be called “e:N Series” and it plans to roll out 10 models with partners GAC and Dongfeng Motor over the next five years, Honda said.
Its two joint ventures, GAC-Honda and Dongfeng-Honda, plan to build new EV-only assembly plants that are expected to begin production in 2024.
The planned new models will use a new vehicle operating system and are being developed based on an auto product platform designed for electric vehicles.
Honda will set up an e:N Series section in all its existing retail stores.
Over time, Honda also plans to set up dedicated e:N Series retail stores but did not provide detail on that plan.
Honda has roughly 1,200 Honda brand stores currently.
China’s sales for electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are expected to reach three million this year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Tuesday.
Honda will continue to sell existing gasoline-powered models even after 2030, it said.