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Honda is done standing by while rivals like Tesla and BYD steal market share. To stay competitive, Honda is doubling its investment in EVs to $65 billion (10 trillion yen) through 2030. The plans include slashing costs and launching seven new electric models.

Honda doubles its investment in EVs to $65 billion

CEO Toshihiro Mibe laid out the automaker’s new strategy Thursday, claiming Honda has not “changed its belief that EVs are the most effective solution.”

Honda believes it can compete in the small electric vehicle and motorbike segment. In the long term, Honda is confident that EV adoption will continue to rise. The company wants to take advantage of the “period of EV popularization,” which will happen in the second half of the 2020s.

To do so, Honda will introduce new EVs, establish a comprehensive supply chain (including batteries), and advance EV technology and facilities.

Through its new strategy, Honda aims for a 5% return on sales for its EV business in 2030, aiming to make it self-sustaining.

Honda’s new 0 series is expected to play a key role. Two new concepts, the Saloon and Space-Hub, were unveiled at CES in January.

Honda-investment-EVs
Honda Saloon and Space-Hub concepts (Source: Honda)

The Saloon is set to become Honda’s new flagship EV with a model very similar to the concept launching in 2026. It will launch in North America first ahead of its global rollout.

Following the Saloon, Honda plans to launch seven EV models globally, from small to large. In China, Honda will introduce ten new EVs by 2027, representing 100% of auto sales in the region by 2035. It also unveiled its new “Ye Series” EVs to take on Chinese automakers like BYD.

Honda will launch a series of smaller EVs, starting with the N-Van e, a commercial mini EV. After it goes on sale in Japan this fall, Honda will introduce a series of small-size EVs in the region where needed. This will include personal mini-EV models in 2025.

Honda-investment-EVs
Toshihiro Mibe, Global CEO of Honda, unveils the Honda 0 Series and new concept models Saloon and Space-Hub (Source: Honda)

Building an EV supply chain for the future

Regarding its supply chain, Honda will start by strengthening its partnerships for lithium-ion batteries while holding costs down. Starting in mid-2020, Honda will begin producing batteries with its JV partners.

In the US, Honda’s JV plant with LG Energy Solution will begin production with up to 40 GWh battery capacity annually. The lightweight and compact battery packs will be used for its 0 series EVs.

In the second half of the decade, Honda plans to further expand its battery business by building a vertically-integrated supply chain.

To do so, Honda will begin in-house production with GS Yuasa for EV batteries. Honda also plans to secure battery materials in Canada, like cathode materials from POSCO Future M and separators from Kasei at new JV plants.

Honda-investment-EVs
(Source: Honda)

By 2030, Honda aims to reduce the cost of EV batteries built in North America by over 20% compared to current costs. Honda already has enough secured to produce around 2 million EVs planned in 2030.

Honda aims for EVs and FCEVs to account for 40% of global auto sales in 2030 and 100% by 2040.

Electrek’s Take

Despite the recent “EV slowdown” the media continues to report, several automakers are increasing their investments now as they look toward the future.

Honda is the latest, joining Toyota, which has made a series of investments in new EVs, including a large electric SUV for the US and next-gen battery tech.

Although Japanese automakers have been laggards in the industry’s transition to EVs so far, with Ford, GM, VW, and others pulling back, could they turn things around? That’s what Honda (and Toyota) hope for with new investments in EVs.

Meanwhile, Honda and Toyota’s EV sales share is currently well under that of their rivals. While Toyota’s EV sales share is around 1%, many automakers are already achieving double-digit or 100% EV sales.

Will the new investments be enough? Drop us a comment below to let us know your thoughts.

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This ‘supercharger on wheels’ brings fast charging to you

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This 'supercharger on wheels' brings fast charging to you

Mobile car care company Yoshi Mobility just launched a DC fast charging EV mobile unit that it likens to “a supercharger on wheels.”

Yoshi Mobility saw that its existing customers needed mobile EV charging in places where infrastructure has yet to be installed, so the Nashville-based company decided to bring the mountain to Moses.

“We recognized a demand among our customers for convenient daily charging, reliable private charging networks, and proper charging infrastructure to support their fleet vehicles as they transition to electric,” said Dan Hunter, Yoshi Mobility’s chief EV officer and cofounder.

The company says its 240 kW mobile DC fast charger, which can turn “any EV” into a mobile charging unit, is the first fully electric mobile charger available. It can provide multiple charges in a single trip but doesn’t detail how they charge the DC fast charger or who manufactured it. (I’ve asked for more details.)

Yoshi is launching its mobile charger on two GM BrightDrop Zevo 600s and will introduce additional vehicles throughout 2024. It aims for full commercialization by Q1 2025. (I wonder if the Zevo 600 ever charges itself? Yes, I asked that too.)

Yoshi Mobility says it’s already deployed its EV charging solutions to service “major OEMs, autonomous vehicle companies, and rideshare operators” across the US. Its initial customers are made up of large EV operators managing “hundreds” of light-duty vehicles requiring up to 1 megawatt of energy per day that don’t yet have grid-connected EV chargers. I’ve asked Yoshi for details of who it’s working with, and will update if they share that info.

The company says pricing is based on location and enterprise charging needs. Once under contract for service, the service will be deployed to US-based customers within 10 days.

To date, Yoshi Mobility has raised more than $60 million, with investments from GM Ventures, Bridgestone, ExxonMobil, and Y-Combinator in Silicon Valley.

Read more: Mercedes-Benz just opened more DC fast chargers at Buc-ee’s in Texas


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Toyota US boss says company is ‘catching up’ on electric vehicles

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Toyota US boss says company is 'catching up' on electric vehicles

Is Toyota catching up in the US electric vehicle market? Although Toyota’s US boss, Ted Ogawa, admits it’s behind Tesla, he believes the company is “catching up” on electric vehicles and new tech.

Toyota has been among the biggest laggards in shifting to fully electric vehicles. After a rocky start (including a recall) with the launch of its first EV in the US, the bZ4X, Toyota has failed to gain traction in the market.

Of the over 2.2 million Toyota vehicles sold in the US last year, only 9,329 were all-electric, or less than 0.5%.

The trend has continued this year, with only 1,897 bZ4X models sold through March. That’s less than 0.4% of the over 486,000 Toyota vehicles sold in Q1.

Ogawa says Toyota is watching customer demand for EVs rather than regulations. “However, the BEV was our missing piece two years ago, so that’s why we were very much criticized,” Ogawa explained in a new interview with Automotive News.

After building internally over the past two years, Toyota’s US boss believes the company is “catching up” on electric vehicles and new tech.

Toyota-catching-up-electric-vehicles
2024 Toyota bZ4X (Source: Toyota)

Is Toyota catching up on electric vehicles?

For example, Ogawa said that Toyota headquarters is building a “very exclusive factory” for EVs.

The new “BEV Factory” will feature several new technologies new to Toyota. The company showed off its next-gen EV production line last year with Giga casting, a process made popular by Tesla.

Toyota-EV-production-line
Mixed production at Motomachi factory (Source: Toyota)

Toyota says its “wealth of knowledge” about molds will help speed up production. The company believes it can reduce the lead time for changing molds to around 20 minutes compared to 24 hours.

Other tech like self-propelled assembly lines and robots are promised to enhance efficiency while minimizing defects.

Toyota-EV-production-line
(Source: Toyota)

Toyota also revealed new EV battery plans last summer, including two next-gen batteries due out by 2027. The first “Performance” battery is promised to feature over 800 km (497 miles) range while cutting costs by 20% compared to the bZ4X.

Meanwhile, the “Popularisation” version, due out in 2026-2027, is expected to feature over 600 km (372 miles) range at 40% lower costs.

Toyota-EV-batteries
Toyota EV battery roadmap (Source: Toyota)

Further out (2027-2030), Toyota plans to launch a series of “further evolution” batteries, including solid-state batteries with over 1,000 km (621 mi) range and 10-min fast charge.

Ogawa believes “this is kind of the starting year of the real multipath way, like the hybrid, which we already have, and then plug-in, something between hybrid and BEV, and then BEV, which it is time to introduce to the market.”

Although Toyota is “of course” behind Tesla’s battery tech, according to Ogawa, the company is “catching up.” Ogawa said Toyota is not only catching up on EVs but “also the ecosystem surrounding the BEV area, such as the home charging or energy management.”

Electrek’s Take

Is Toyota really catching up this time? We’ve heard this several times in the past from executives.

With EVs accounting for less than 0.4% of sales in the US, Toyota will need to do more to prove it. Toyota planned to launch solid-state EV batteries in 2021 and 2022, but now we are not expected to see them hit the market until around 2028 (at the earliest).

Other tech, like Giga casting and automated production, will help improve efficiency, but new EVs are not expected to debut until 2026.

Toyota has made several investments recently to boost US production, including a $1.4 billion investment in Indiana to build a new electric SUV, separate from its promised three-row EV model.

Can new models and tech help Toyota catch up in the electric vehicle market this time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Judge rules Exxon can sue activist shareholder over climate proposal

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Judge rules Exxon can sue activist shareholder over climate proposal

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

A federal judge in Texas on Wednesday said Exxon Mobil can sue to bar a climate change proposal from an activist investor, in a case that has raised concerns about its future effect on shareholder resolutions.

U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman for the Northern District of Texas ruled that Exxon’s lawsuit can proceed against Boston-based Arjuna Capital, but dismissed the oil major’s claim against a second activist shareholder, Follow This, because the firm is based in the Netherlands.

Exxon sued the two investors in January after they submitted a proposal to be tabled at the May 29 annual shareholder meeting that called for the company to accelerate carbon dioxide emissions reductions.

Arjuna and Follow This subsequently withdrew the proposal, but Exxon proceeded with its claims against the two firms, arguing that they could file similar proposals at future shareholder meetings.

Exxon’s claims are based on Securities and Exchange Commission rules that allow companies to exclude shareholder resolutions if they deal with a matter relating to the company’s ordinary business operations, or are substantially similar to proposals offered in the past five years.

Pittman said Arjuna and Follow This were following a “Trojan Horse” model in which they aggregate enough shares in oil companies to vote and submit proposals aimed at fighting climate change.

The judge, appointed to the federal bench by former President Donald Trump in 2019, said Exxon should not be faulted for distrusting the activist investors. He said Arjuna could slightly modify its withdrawn 2024 proposal for submission to future shareholder meetings.

“Rather, the company’s position is a rational response to entities categorically opposed to Big Oil,” Pittman wrote. “Exxon is big. And Exxon is Oil. And another court has already found at least Defendant has leadership that’s ‘manifestly biased’ against Exxon.”

Arjuna, which calls itself “a sustainable investment firm that works with accredited investors and institutions to invest their assets with a lens toward sustainability,” did not immediately respond to an e-mail request from CNBC for comment.

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