Head Of Honda R&D Pessimistic About Electric Vehicles

Head Of Honda R&D Pessimistic About Electric Vehicles

Tomohiko Kawanabe, Honda‘s president of research & development, expressed doubts about consumer demand for electric vehicles. “We lack confidence,” Kawanabe said in an interview with Automotive News.“It’s questionable whether consumers will accept the annoyances of limited driving range and having to spend time charging them.”

Rival automakers like Nissan and General Motors are pushing ahead with their own EV programs. Nissan’s Leaf is expected to roll out on a limited basis at the end of 2010, while GM’s Chevrolet Volt has been a media darling, enjoying significant positive press. Honda, a company that has always mandated fuel efficiency as one of its prime directives, will continue to press on with this goal, while still exploring other options. “We are definitely conducting research on electric cars, but I can’t say I can wholeheartedly recommend them,” Kawanabe said.

Honda was a pioneer of early EV technology with the EV Plus compact electric vehicle that was available in California from 1997-1999. About 30o cars were leased but Honda did not consider the program successful. Honda is pushing for hydrogen fuel cell technology as the standard for future automobiles, but their progress is currently hampered by inadequate infrastructure surrounding refueling.  Honda currently sells their FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle (pictured above) in California. Kawanabe also said that the company is exploring the possibility of building hybrids in North America.

Gallery: Honda FCX Clarity


[Source: Automotive News]

  • Shannon

    Of course Honda badmouths the EV. They are still trying to sell that pipe dream of a hydrogen car, or well, not really sell it, but prototype it. And in the meantime, please continue to buy our gas burning accord, Civic, and CRV.

    EV already has the infrastructure. Nice try to drum up paranoia about range though.

  • Rajame

    Then give me your Damn DIESEL!!!!! Benn waiting for years for those great diesels but NOOOOOO – everywhere but the USA. Go forth and reproduce with thy self. I will buy a diesel from VW even though I have 3 Hondas since 1992. I’ve only bought Hondas since 1992. Have had 5 or 6 people buy Hondas because that what I recommended. Go forth and reproduce with thy self. Honda use to be cutting edge!

  • ron

    Honda’s full of oil. nothing else. They are in the oil companies pockets just like Ford, Gm,Chysler, and the rest. We don’t need a dam car which has to be filled up at the local gas station or store. Gm in the 90s had a car which gave 230 miles per charge(electric) proved to be very reliable, and could be produced on a mass scale enough to bring the price down to consumer range rather than just the few rich. They promply crushed all 24,000 to hide the evidence. Ford has a desil car which produces 48 miles per gallon with little maint, and gives excellence service. So when asked why this car was not marketed in the USA he said americans are not ready for desil. unnnnnnnnnnnnnnn britian is? Telsi motors has the cutting edge and the chance tobecome another ford of the auto market building electric cars which could self charge but have teamed with touyota and promises now to keep their models out of the reach of regular working joes whom the big oil companies need to choke to maintain those 300 million bonesus, which also keeps women in chains in countries like Saudia, Iran, Iraq ect.
    Shame on those animals in charge at ford, Chrysler, Gm, toyoto, honda ect. whose actions in keeping electrical cars out of our market help maintain slavery in the Middle East and Africa

  • ron

    What the hell? His statement”“We lack confidence,” Kawanabe said in an interview with Automotive News.“It’s questionable whether consumers will accept the annoyances of limited driving range and having to spend time charging them.” is silly considering I can order (or have any shop install)a honda with an electric 120 or 240 volt electric receiptable which would run my grill, radio, or lights in the tent. This same rweceiptable could very well charge the electric car batteries as the car traveled down the road.
    This guy has more stock in big oil than he does Honda.

  • Ryan

    You guys are nuts! Battery technology has almost reached its peak. Hydrogen is definitely the way to go; how could you say Honda is in big oils pocket when they are trying to change the world for the better by switching to hydrogen? Nonsensical arguments here, Honda has always been cutting edge on trends and I’m confident that they’ll prove to the world, likely alongside Toyota, that hydrogen is the only chance we have.