On Tuesday Honda and Hitachi Automotive Systems announced plans for a joint venture building electric motors for vehicles. At this point the companies have only signed a memorandum of understanding, but they plan to commit to the project in March, with the new company being established this July.
According to Reuters, Honda Chief Executive Officer Takahiro Hachigo told reporters that, “Producing motors is capital intensive, so rather than just manufacturing them for our own purposes, we would like to produce in large volumes with the possibility of supplying a variety of customers. In pairing up with Hitachi, we’re hoping to tap into its expertise in volume production.”
Although Honda does not currently have a battery-electric vehicle after discontinuing a limited production electric version of its Fit mini MPV model in 2014, last year the company announced that its goal is to have two-thirds of its vehicles powered by electricity in some way by 2030.
A new dedicated hybrid is expected next year and it also has electric and hybrid versions of the Honda Clarity coming soon.