Honda Australia has announced a new company goal to have 25 per cent of its local sales come from electrified vehicles by 2025.
The announcement is similar to a recent announcement from Honda Europe, which aims to offer a part-electric drivetrain on every car that it sells for a 100 per cent hybridised sales rate. Honda Australia will bank on its hybrid heritage by offering a new hybrid model at each future model change, starting with the latest-generation Accord sedan that’s due in late 2019.
“We pioneered hybrids in Australia with the first generation Insight, and have offered many hybrid models since, including the Jazz Hybrid, CR-Z, later generation Insight and Accord Hybrid,” said Stephen Collins, Honda Australia director.
Honda have offered a long list of hybrids including the Insight, CR-Z and Jazz Hybrid.
“Yet we quit hybrid sales in Australia four years ago because the market was tiny and we couldn’t make it work economically,” said Mr Collins.
“But today the market is different - yes it’s only at 1.5 per cent of total sales, but it’s going to grow in the future as acceptance is improving.” he said, acknowledging that Toyota’s hybrids have helped drive sales in this country.
When asked if offering so many hybrid and electric models in Europe would help drive prices down locally, Collins said that while it was hard to tell now, it was likely.
“Having hybrids and electric models in Europe will likely bring the cost down of them in Australia, yes,” Mr Collins said.
“We don’t yet have the emissions regulations that necessitate the hybrid and electric technology in Europe, so the premium over a regular petrol-powered car in Australia needs to be at maximum reasonable and the value equation needs to be there to sell in bigger numbers.”
However, Mr Collins cautioned that government uncertainty and inaction on emissions targets and incentives for newer technologies is making it difficult for automotive brands to plan ahead for what they will offer in years to come.
“Government uncertainty here makes it hard for us to go to head office and ask for what we want,” he said.
“All we call for is certainty regardless of government party - when new legislation will be introduced, what the legislation is, how it will change the market for consumers and so on so we can prepare for the future in terms of models, drivetrains and local offerings.”
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