Japanese Car Boss Speaks Out Against EVs

Tue 24th Dec 2019

While the majority of motoring companies are pushing ahead with big plans of electric vehicle revolution, one boss of one of the world’s leading car firms is urging caution.

With companies such as Volkswagen announcing this week that they plan to have produced 1.5million EVs by 2025 and many predicting that 2020 said to be the big breakthrough year for electric vehicles, Honda’s CEO Takahiro Hachigo has said that his company’s focus is on hybrid vehicles.

Hachigo expressed scepticism that the driving public are actually demanding purely electric vehicles and whether the industry is set up to deliver them.

“I believe hybrid vehicles will play a critical role,” he said, when asked about electrification by Autonews magazine. “The objective is not electrification, per se, but improving fuel efficiency. And we believe hybrid vehicles are the way to abide by different environmental regulations.

“Are there really customers who truly want them?” – he asked while referring to EVs. “I’m not so sure because there are lots of issues regarding infrastructure and hardware. I do not believe there will be a dramatic increase in demand for battery vehicles, and I believe this situation is true globally. There are different regulations in different countries, and we have to abide by them. So it’s a must to continue r&d. But I don’t believe it will become mainstream anytime soon.”

EVs took a share of 2.2% of the global vehicle market for the first 10 months of 2019, with automakers said to be committing $225 billion to electrification according to analysts.