What Honda’s New Electric Sports Car Shows Investors

An update on Honda’s electric-car strategy

After a period of advancing in fits and starts, Hachigo has clarified that Honda is making a big move into battery-electric vehicles. The company expects that by 2030, two-thirds of its global sales will come from electric vehicles and advanced hybrids — and it expects to hit that goal earlier in some markets, like Europe.

The Honda Urban EV Concept, a futuristic white hatchback, on Honda's auto-show stand.

Hachigo said last month that the production version of the Urban EV Concept will go on sale in Europe in 2019. In Tokyo on Wednesday, he announced that Honda will begin selling compact electric vehicles in Japan in 2020. But, he said, the still-high costs of batteries made it unlikely that Honda would launch its new compact electric cars in the U.S. in the near term.

Long story short: Honda is serious about electric cars, but also serious about making sure they’re profitable.

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