Why launch a ‘new generation of gasoline engines’ when ‘battery power’ is the buzzword …

The “Honda Group” consists of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and its 442 group companies in Japan and beyond. The main business segments in which the company operates are ‘Motorcycles’, ‘Automobiles’ and ‘Power Products’, but the company is also engaged in other fields such as ‘Aircraft’ and ‘Aircraft Engines’, ‘Robotics’ and ‘Home Energy Management Systems’. Honda is serving ~31 million (and rising) customers a year, of which ~ 6.2 million (and rising) are ‘Power Products’ customers.

Being a global company offering a variety of products, and serving a variety of customers in the different markets, Honda adopts a broader view when it comes to ‘environmental protection’ which can be summarized as “reducing the environmental footprint” (at best “reducing that footprint to zero”), with “electrification” being just one aspect of sustainable growth the company is aiming for.

Honda has always been aware of the scarcity of natural resources and has always been a forerunner when it comes to environmental protection:

  • Honda was the first automaker to comply with the ‘US Clean Air Act’ in the 1970’s; a regulation thought at the time to be the most stringent in the world;
  • In 1999 Honda launched the ‘Insight’, the first hybrid car in the US.
  • In 2002, the ‘FCX’ became the first fuel-cell vehicle in the world to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

By 2050 Honda aims to halve CO2 emissions against ‘2000 levels’.  An ‘interim target’ was set that aims for a reduction of 30% of global average CO2 emissions from Honda products by 2020 against ‘2000 levels’.

2017 status of achievement vs 2020 product CO2 emission-reduction targets

Source: Honda 2017 Sustainability Report

One of measures aimed at achieving the 2050 objective consists of increasing the ratio of vehicles adopting electric-powered technologies out of its total automobile sales to two-thirds by 2030. To achieve this goal, the company is seizing all new business opportunities by pushing forward with the development of electric vehicles (EV) and fuel-cell vehicles (FCV).

The focus is not only on “CO2 reduction from our products”, but also on making efforts to recycle materials and to conserve resources and energy at every stage of the life cycle of our products – from research, design, production and sales, to servicing and disposal.

As an example, Honda is actively introducing and promoting the use of renewable energy such as large-scale solar and wind power generation at its facilities around the world. By the financial year 2017 (FY2017), Honda generated a total of 106.000 MWh of electric power, including solar power generation and wind power generation.

Each of our 31 million customers has specific needs that can’t always be met by today’s battery technology alone.

Especially where Power Products are concerned, there is a limitation related to ‘operating time’ due to battery capacity. ‘Operating time’ is an important criterion for ‘premium residential’ and industrial/commercial users (Honda’s traditional customer base).  This being the case, Honda would not be able to satisfy the needs of all of its customers were it to abandon ‘gasoline’ engines. So we keep making gasoline engines as clean as they can get!

Further details about Honda’s efforts in the environmental field can be found in

http://world.honda.com/sustainability/report/