Honda targets Tesla; launches electric-only e:N series in China
Honda plans to introduce 10 models over the next five years in its e:N series, using a new platform specific to electric vehicles.
Aiming at Tesla and in order to appeal to the middle class in the world’s largest electric vehicle market, Honda Motor has launched the e:N line of electric vehicles in China, Nikkei Asia reported. The automaker’s new electric vehicles will start at the equivalent of around $26,000, making them cheaper than Tesla’s models. They will also be Honda’s first electric vehicles to carry the automaker’s iconic H logo in the Chinese market.
Honda plans to introduce 10 models over the next five years in its e:N series, using a new platform specific to electric vehicles. The first of these, the e:NS1 sport utility vehicle, was launched by local joint venture Dongfeng Honda. Another joint venture, GAC Honda Automobile, will begin taking pre-orders for the e:NP1 this month, a model similar to the e:NS1.
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The report says the size of the e:NS1 puts it in the European category called the B-segment which includes subcompact cars. Pricing starts at 175,000 yuan or around $26,000 with subsidies included. The battery offers a range of 510 km and is made by Chinese manufacturer CATL, a company in which Honda has invested.
Currently, Honda will produce the e:N models at the joint ventures’ existing factories, but they plan to build new facilities dedicated to electric vehicles which are expected to enter service in 2024. There are plans to export the e:Ns to other markets. , starting with Europe in 2023.
Honda sold 1.56 million new vehicles in China last year, down 4% on the year. Conventional cars and hybrids made up the bulk of that, with EVs accounting for only around 10,000. But Honda is now targeting an increase in EV sales in China to 800,000 vehicles by 2030. And reaching that goal will depend success of the e:N range of vehicles.
Date of first publication: May 15, 2022, 11:18 a.m. HST