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Electric compact SUVs are critical to meeting Government legislation to fully electrify 22 percent of sales by 2024.
The success of the new Honda e:Ny1 electric SUV, due to launch next year, will be critical to helping the company meet the government’s upcoming zero-emissions target.
The e:Ny1 – so named in the manufacturer’s global demo, but expected to have a different name when it goes into production – is the company’s first mainstream Electric Vehicle, following the niche, Europe-only Honda E. The e:Ny1 is comparable in size to the Honda HR-V but sits on a custom electric platform.
Talking about its launch in 2023, Honda’s head of cars in the UK, Rebecca Adamson, said: “It is our first mainstream Electric Vehicle offering. The Honda E has been a great showpiece, but this car will take our BEV ambitions to a new level. It will offer more range and a more usable set-up, and it is critical for us to hit our targets.”
“The targets are being set for the right reasons, and it is down to us to hit them. They are the right thing to do,” said Adamson, when asked if she supported the legislation. “In that regard, e:Ny1 is arriving at exactly the right time. We have a target to hit for 2024, and it arrives at exactly the right time for us to start building the order banks so that we go into that year on the front foot.”
Honda UK managing director Jean-Marc Streng added that Honda’s focus in recent years on profitability rather than volume will also help with the transition to electric sales. In 2007, the company sold more than 100,000 cars in the UK, but this year it expects to sell around 30,000 – while making record profits.
“The government targets are based on percentages, so our focus on profit over volume means again that we will not have to force any Electric Vehicle sales in order to hit our required levels,” he said. “In that regard, we see our size as an advantage: we can maintain our focus on profitable retail sales rather than having to force through other channels.”
Adamson also dismissed concerns that the high average age of Honda buyers (currently 64) could be a problem as it begins to offer more all-electric vehicles.
“We’ve seen no signs at all that our loyal customer base are averse to new technology,” she said. “When the Honda Jazz went from being sold as a manual – which 50% of customers optioned – to only automatic, the same queries were raised. It is now our best-selling car and loyalty is strong.
“Instead, I’d suggest that our reputation for reliability, innovation, integrity and trust will stand us in good stead. Our customers know our history of delivering on our promises, and I think it will make them more willing to embrace new technology.”
Honda said it had the second-fastest growth in retail share of the UK hybrid alternative fuel vehicle market this year of any manufacturer, behind only Toyota. All core models will be electrified with the launch of the new Honda Civic this year.
Honda has pledged to launch 30 new electrified vehicles globally by 2030, and announced it will launch at least one new electric vehicle with Sony in 2025 and with General Motors to develop an electric vehicle for the U.S. market.
Meanwhile in other News;
Department for Transport figures show there were 56 public charging stations in Harrogate on January 1, up from 36 two years ago.
Further figures from the Department for Transport show Harrogate residents also had 1,071 charging points installed at their homes under the Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme as of January 1 – an increase of 200 per cent over the past two years.
There are also 89 charging points installed at workplace car parks in the Harrogate District.
The government last month announced plans for a major investment in charging infrastructure totalling £1.6bn across a range of projects.
These include a previously announced £950m Rapid charging fund to install more than 6,000 Rapid chargers on England’s motorways, and a £450m local electric vehicle infrastructure fund to help address a shortage of local charging points.
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