Honda intends to sell only electric vehicles in North America by 2040, following several other automakers that have made related announcements lately.
The Japanese automaker termed it a goal, not a commitment, mimicking similar language used by its opponents as they leave open the probability of selling classic cars for longer.
But the move further indicates that the future of the gas engine is looking darker as automakers embrace E.V.s.
Jaguar, Volvo, and General Motors recently announced plans to phase out gas vehicles by 2025, 2030, and 2035.
For Honda, it’s a significant transformation since the automaker currently sells only one vehicle in the U.S. that uses a plug to generate energy: the Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid. Essentially all of the company’s lineup is made up of traditional gas vehicles, and it does not sell any battery-electric vehicles after terminating the Honda Clarity electric car.
But Honda said Friday that it has new E.V.s coming beginning with the 2024 model year and ramping up in the second half of the decade.
The first models will include vehicles using G.M. products for a Honda model and an Acura model.
The company also said it aims to add safety systems that will reduce crash deaths involving Honda vehicles to zero worldwide by 2050.
In 2020, E.V.s represented only about 2% of U.S. new vehicle sales. But analysts assume that share to rise quickly as battery advancements bring down the prices of E.V.s in the coming years.
Honda still left open the feasibility that it will continue to sell gas vehicles in particular markets throughout the world due to a scarcity of customer acceptance of E.V.s or a lack of foundation to handle them.