Honda has long been considered an electromobility laggard, but tightening emissions regulations in Europe are forcing its hand. According to The Times, Honda has brought its previously-announced 2025 deadline for phasing out non-hybrid cars in the European market forward by three years.
“Honda has accelerated its plans for all its European mainstream car models to be electrified from 2025 to 2022 and our hybrid technology will play a key role in achieving this goal,” a spokesperson told Auto Express. “We plan for European production of diesel powertrains to cease by the end of 2022. However, on a local level in the UK, we have now stopped selling diesel cars.”
“Regulations are becoming clearer in Europe and we’re responding to that challenge,” Tom Gardner, Honda’s Senior VP for Europe, told Sky News. “Honda is the world’s largest engine manufacturer, and from what we have announced today we are committing to ending all mainstream non-electrified petrol and diesel production for Europe by the end of 2022.”
Earlier this year, Honda shuttered its Swindon factory in southwest England. The plant, which was producing some 100,000 Civics per year, and employed 3,500 people, was the company’s only factory in the EU. Hondas bound for Europe will now be imported from Asia, where the company has an established supply chain for its electric powertrains and batteries, as Mr. Gardner explained.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had to make a tough decision, and similar decisions are being made across the industry,” he said. “We have to optimize our resources, our capabilities and our production systems to deliver these new vehicles. Electrification has a number of challenges for the powertrain, the battery supply and all of those things, for us, are optimized in the Japan and Asia region.”