A couple of years ago, there was a flurry of announcements from car makers all staking their claim in the electrification race. Volkswagen declared it would sell 1m electric cars annually by 2025 and Volvo said all its cars launched from this year would have some kind of electrified powertrain. 

At the Geneva motor show today, Honda has said all of its European car sales will be electrified by 2025. That’s an updated plan from two years ago when it said two-thirds would be electrified.

In Europe at least, its fair to say Honda hasn’t been at the forefront of electrification. The CR-V Hybrid has just gone on sale. The production version of the e prototype will arrive in the UK 12 months from now. Most car makers are ahead, at least for hybrids.

Can Honda really hit that 2025 goal, then? Early signs are positive: 60% of CR-V buyers in the U.K. have chosen hybrid over petrol. 

There’s also massive investment plans for electrification - the reason cited for the planned closure of the Swindon plant from 2021. Honda will instead focus its manufacturing locations in one place, Japan, which is also handily near where EVs are popular, namely China. 

Next, we’ll see the Jazz hybrid and then a Civic hybrid in 2021. When there’s no powertrain choice for consumers who want a Honda - it’s hybrid or nothing - will people opt for it? Probably. 

Electric-only plans for Honda are more elusive, however. After the e, there’s no confirmation of further models. Of course, there will be more, but what and when is unclear.

Honda will need to move fast on this front to hit rapidly incoming emissions targets.

Indeed, when asked about sales of e in the UK, Honda U.K. boss Dave Hodgetts said: “We’ll sell what we need to sell [of the electric car] to achieve CAFE [emissions targets].”

That’s a stark reminder that these standards are forcing the hands of car makers. Anything above hitting those targets will be an added bonus.