Honda & Volkswagen Speed up EV Plans



Honda and Volkswagen this week introduced plans to ramp up their conversion to electrical automobiles. Honda is shifting manufacturing round to clear manufacturing facility house for its forthcoming EVs, whereas Volkswagen says it’s dedicated to investing greater than $193 billion worldwide over the following a number of years. It’s a turbulent time to be manufacturing cars. Inflation, rates of interest, and the price of power are hovering whereas geopolitical tensions over the destiny of Ukraine and Taiwan stay excessive, however these corporations must manufacture or die.

Honda Shuffles Its Manufacturing Lineup

Honda has been constructing the Accord at its manufacturing facility in Marysville, Ohio, for greater than 40 years. As a part of plans to extend EV manufacturing introduced on March 14, the Accord will now be assembled in Indiana, the place it builds the Civic Hatchback and CR-V. Starting subsequent January, the Marysville manufacturing facility will likely be transformed to EV manufacturing, in line with Reuters. Honda and LG Power Resolution are constructing a battery manufacturing facility in Jeffersonville, Ohio. That facility is anticipated to grow to be operational in 2024 and can have an annual capability of 40 GWh of battery cells.

The 2 meeting strains at Marysville will likely be mixed into one, making it potential to start the work of changing the opposite to construct electrical vehicles. The manufacturing facility is anticipated to fabricate solely EVs by 2026. Honda will start shuffling operations at its Anna Engine Plant in Alabama and its transmission manufacturing facility in Georgia to start manufacturing the elements wanted to fabricate electrical automobiles. Honda’s transmission plant in Georgia will dedicate one manufacturing line to e-axle manufacturing and its Anna, Ohio, engine plant will shift manufacturing of some engine elements to a Honda engine plant in Alabama to arrange for manufacturing of battery instances for EV fashions, the corporate mentioned.

In its press launch, Honda mentioned, “As a part of its aim to realize carbon neutrality for all merchandise and company actions by 2050, Honda has a imaginative and prescient to make battery-electric and gas cell electrical automobiles characterize 100% of its automobile gross sales by 2040. At the same time as Honda accelerates preparation for EV manufacturing, the corporate plans to maintain present ICE and hybrid-electric automobile manufacturing with a view to proceed to fulfill anticipated robust buyer demand via 2030 and past. The sustained success of ICE and hybrid-electric automobile gross sales additionally will assist the required funding within the electrified future.”

Volkswagen Pledges $193 Billion To EV Transition


Picture courtesy of Volkswagen, by way of Twitter.

Volkswagen mentioned on Tuesday that it could spend $193 billion on software program, battery factories, and different investments because it goals to make each fifth automobile it sells electrical by 2025. In keeping with the New York Occasions, the corporate may even deal with increasing its presence in North America and turning into extra aggressive in China, which Oliver Blume, CEO of Volkswagen Group, described as considered one of Volkswagen’s most vital markets. Blume advised the press that two thirds of its future investments will deal with producing battery cells, growing software program, and shoring up provide chains of important uncooked supplies.

Final September, Blume laid out a ten level plan for a way Volkswagen expects to pivot to constructing largely electrical automobiles. [Porsche is focusing on the development of synthetic fuels for customers who demand a combustion engine.] Talking to the press this week, he reiterated these 10 factors and mentioned, “For me, it will be important that we’ve got a transparent orientation of the place we’re going.” 2023 will likely be “a decisive 12 months” for the corporate, he added. A portion of the $43 billion raised final 12 months by the Porsche IPO could also be used to assist pay for implementing that plan.

“We should remodel ourselves right into a expertise and mobility companies group,” Arno Antlitz, Volkswagen’s chief monetary and working officer, mentioned on the Tuesday media occasion. “We have to deal with our platforms, comparable to our {hardware} for battery-powered electrical automobiles, a unified software program stack, batteries, mobility, autonomous driving.”

Going ahead, Volkswagen plans to customise its electrical automobiles to the expectations of consumers in numerous markets. In China, as an example, the emphasis could also be on in-car leisure choices for drivers and passengers. Chinese language clients apparently take pleasure in being able to do karaoke whereas driving. Within the US, the emphasis will likely be on rugged off-road electrical automobiles, as a result of everybody in America expects to have the ability to traipse via Denali Nationwide Park on the best way to work. The rejuvenated Scout model will cater to these whimsies. Volkswagen introduced final week it would assemble a battery manufacturing facility in Canada to provide batteries for the electrical vehicles it manufactures within the US.

The Return Of The Folks’s Automobile?

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Maybe an important a part of the Volkswagen press occasion this week was tucked in close to the tip of its announcement. “The model anticipates an all-electric share of round 80 % in Europe by 2030. To this finish, ten new electrical fashions are to be launched by as early as 2026, together with an all-electric Volkswagen for underneath EUR 25,000, which makes its world debut immediately because the ID. 2all research.” Extra on the automobile was introduced right here.

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

The identify “Volkswagen,” for individuals who don’t converse German, actually means “folks’s automobile.” The unique Beetle was designed to be small, mild, economical, and straightforward to restore at a time when roads had been poor, economies had been in tatters due to World Struggle II, and folks couldn’t afford something greater than primary transportation. Different vehicles of an identical kind included the Citroen 2CV and the unique Fiat 500 — a automobile that gave new context to the phrase minuscule. In the present day, the common value of a brand new electrical automobile earlier than incentives is $50,000 or extra.

There’s a want for inexpensive EVs, however there are few available exterior of China, the place tiny electrical vehicles with modest vary are standard. Tesla has studiously prevented that section of the market, so the sector is large open for Volkswagen, no less than within the European market the place vehicles are sometimes restricted to intra-urban use.

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen says it expects the ID.2all to enter manufacturing in 2026. It will likely be constructed alongside related fashions from SEAT and Skoda on the firm’s manufacturing facility in Spain. That identify could change. There are rumors that the corporate is considering of utilizing the Golf nameplate for the smaller automobile, which is anticipated to be about half a meter shorter in size than the ID.3 and use the newest MEB+ EV chassis developed by the corporate.

“Low centre of gravity and front-wheel drive — the very best economic system of house within the compact ID. 2all.” Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen Model CEO Thomas Schäfer advised Autocar final October, “The Golf identify has large worth. The popularity it receives at [customer] clinics — folks completely perceive what we’re speaking about. So to vary the identify to one thing utterly totally different doesn’t make sense.” Unnamed sources have additionally advised Autocar “the true worth of the Volkswagen Golf lies in a automobile the dimensions of the ID.2.”

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

Picture courtesy of Volkswagen.

For now, the corporate is looking the automobile the ID.2all. What it will likely be known as when it goes into manufacturing is anybody’s guess. In a press launch, the corporate stresses that what we’re seeing is an idea solely and that the precise manufacturing automobile gained’t be unveiled till 2 years from now.

There was some controversy concerning the new automobile, which initially was known as the ID.Life. After Blume took over from Herbert Diess, that idea was axed and the automobile unveiled immediately got here into existence. It’s meant to be for immediately’s technology what the unique Beetle was — an inexpensive automobile for the folks. Clearly, the corporate expects the ID.2all to comply with the trail established by its predecessors. That’s a great factor for individuals who have been ready for an entry stage electrical automobile, one which carries on the Volkswagen custom of worth and reliability with a touch of fashion. Hopefully, it would additionally spur others — we’re you, Elon — to construct inexpensive electrical vehicles for the plenty.


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