In early September, 2022, Honda made headlines with an important electrification announcement: That it plans to offer 10 different electric two-wheeler models by 2025. Since it’s only a few months until 2023 starts, that’s clearly not a lot of time. Also, considering Honda’s global scope—that’s kind of a big deal.
While Honda clarified certain points about its electrification plans—such as the breakdown into Commuter EVs, Commuter EM/EB (electric mopeds and electric bicycles), and Fun EVs —it also left some things open to speculation.
This, in turn, led to the Wall Street Journal publishing a report that said Honda was considering making its electric motorcycle unit into its own thing, then taking it public. As you may recall, that’s the route that legacy motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson chose to pursue with its own LiveWire electric bike brand in the past couple of years.
Not so fast for Team Red, though. On September 13, 2022, Honda told Reuters that this characterization is not accurate. “Electrification is a long road and we are discussing a variety of options without excluding anything from consideration. However, we have no plan to separate the electric two-wheeler business into a new business unit to be listed on a stock exchange,” reads the official statement.
Prior to this announcement, Honda had already steadily been making inroads on its electrification progress, and tackling the challenges from multiple angles. Its first electric two- and three-wheelers to market were fleet delivery vehicles in its home market of Japan—a place where two- and three-wheeled combustion vehicles already handle many deliveries on a regular basis.
The Honda Gyro :e, Gyro Canopy :e, and Benly :e have already rolled out – and they’re already utilizing swappable Honda Mobile Power Packs to get the job done efficiently. Over in e-bike land, Honda and Japanese home goods giant MUJI collaborated on the ultra-minimalist MS01, for release in the extremely e-bike-happy country of China. That’s already four out of ten, and all of these were introduced prior to Honda’s big double-digit number goal announcement.
Honda has its fingers in a range of different electric pies that will likely have major effects on the world. Don’t forget its involvement in that swappable battery consortium, along with KTM, Yamaha, Piaggio, and others. In August, 2022, Berlin-based battery-as-a-service startup Swobbee joined that consortium, where its job will be to develop a shared-use battery for members of the consortium to use in their vehicles.
Earlier, Honda also began collaborating with companies outside the two-wheeler space that are also interested in electrification, including heavy equipment manufacturer Komatsu. In other words, Team Red is BUSY.
Those are just some of the electrification moves that Honda has made public as of September, 2022. As with any company, there are, no doubt, additional closed-door goings-on with regard to its future moves in the ever-expanding electrification space. We look forward to seeing where it all goes from here.