While Honda focuses on its new 1.0-litre turbo, electric and hybrid plans are in the pipeline

Honda will introduce electric and plug-in hybrid models by 2020, with the powertrain technology most likely to arrive on smaller cars, according to European marketing and sales boss Jean Marc Streng.

“We have to come with something else to drop emissions and this will come from hybrid and electric,” Streng said.

He added that a smaller petrol engine - a 1.0-litre unit in the new Civic hatchback - had been the priority until now. Talking about hybrid, Streng said sales were “very limited in Europe” and driven by sales incentives. “If you look at the potential of the market, it’s still not that important at the moment. It’s more of a priority for us to come with a petrol engine”, referencing the 1.0-litre turbo.

Autocar has previously reported that the 10th-generation Civic is due to get a hybrid version, with its project leader Mitsuru Kariya confirming the new platform accommodates such a powertrain. It does not, however, allow for an all-electric set-up. European chief Katsushi Inoue has also recognised the success of hybrids in Japan and the US, but was more cautious about their entry into Europe. “ There are lots of hybrids in Japan and the States . We’ll see if that movement comes to Europe.”

Meanwhile, the Jazz is likely to be one of the first Hondas to receive an all-electric powertrain. 

Streng also suggested that all low-emission powertrains would focus on its smaller cars. “Does a hybrid really make sense in a big SUV? I’d argue not.” 

However, he acknowledged that by 2030, more than two-thirds of overall car sales will be electric or hybrid, adding that by 2020, “we should be in this area”.

Talking about Honda’s current success, Streng recognised the brand “has struggled over last few years”. Describing it as a “comeback”, he attributed the new CR-V and HR-V models as being crucial to its achievements, siting a 60% conquest rate for HR-V buyers. He added that the new Civic would attract a younger buyer explaining that the design is more “sporty and aggressive”. 

Read our review of the 2017 Honda Civic 

Our Verdict

Honda Jazz

The new Honda Jazz is bigger than ever thanks to a new chassis and longer wheelbase, but does it come with a more engaging drive

Join the debate

Comments
2

14 December 2016
Remember when Honda used to be among the leaders in innovative automotive technology?

They call game-changing companies 'disruptors' these days, but Honda used to be the Disruptors-in-Chief - CVCC, VTEC, F1, oval pistons, i-DTEC, IMA, HondaJet, home co-generation systems, hydrogen fuel cells...

Now they're trying to play catch-up, but constantly running in the wrong direction - diesels when other emissions eclipsing CO2, 1-litre turbos when others have already realised that official mpg tests are unrepresentative & about to change, ditching hybrids after pioneering them in 1999 - and halfheartedly adapting also-ran global models for Europe, pushed by me-too tactical marketing and distributors.

Thankfully the bikes & power products still command respect, but a bit of sparkle from NSX and Type R doesn't really compensate for a multitude of effortless sins.

Come back, Honda R&D engineers; your fans, customers, dealers and associates need you - the world needs you.

14 December 2016
Reverend Rev wrote:

Remember when Honda used to be among the leaders in innovative automotive technology?

They call game-changing companies 'disruptors' these days, but Honda used to be the Disruptors-in-Chief - CVCC, VTEC, F1, oval pistons, i-DTEC, IMA, HondaJet, home co-generation systems, hydrogen fuel cells...

Now they're trying to play catch-up, but constantly running in the wrong direction - diesels when other emissions eclipsing CO2, 1-litre turbos when others have already realised that official mpg tests are unrepresentative & about to change, ditching hybrids after pioneering them in 1999 - and halfheartedly adapting also-ran global models for Europe, pushed by me-too tactical marketing and distributors.

Thankfully the bikes & power products still command respect, but a bit of sparkle from NSX and Type R doesn't really compensate for a multitude of effortless sins.

Come back, Honda R&D engineers; your fans, customers, dealers and associates need you - the world needs you.

A perfect summary of Honda in Europe

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again