So, looks like Honda isn’t planning to replace all its gasoline-powered bikes by 2040.
Late last week, Honda issued a press release saying “Honda today announced key targets for sales of electrified vehicles in North America, with a plan to make battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles to represent 100% of its vehicle sales by 2040, progressing from sales of 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2035.”
As it turns out “vehicles” does not include motorcycles or ATVs. A colleague got this in an email from Honda: “The global Honda EV target of 40% by 2030, 80% by 2035 and 100% by 2040, applies to automobile (cars and trucks) only.” No worries, you should still be able to buy dirt bikes and street bikes with internal combustion engines for the foreseeable future, although Honda is working hard on electric bike plans (more on that below).
That’s good news for many riders, as the current global EV structure is insufficient to power a mass switch to electric vehicles. And, current battery technology doesn’t allow electric motorcycles to have travel range on par with gasoline-powered bikes, although recharge times and battery capacity are constantly improving.
Honda is working hard on improving its electric motorcycles, though, as we’ve seen over the past few years here. Honda first joined the Japanese manufacturer’s consortium aimed at improving electric scooters, teaming up with Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha on this project. It’s already released new 50 cc-equivalent battery scoots in Japan, aimed at urban riding. It’s also a part of an even larger consortium that includes Euro manufacturers, all aimed at developing swappable batteries—the major factor that holds electric motorcycles back.
The result of all that behind-the-scenes work? Honda’s press guy says there are three new battery scoots coming by 2024, with performance equal to scooters in the 50-125 cc range.