Honda has an initial annual sales target of 70,000 units for the Prologue SUV, the automaker's first new volume battery-electric vehicle (BEV), when it goes on sale in 2024.
Following the launch of Prologue, Honda brand electrified vehicle sales will be boosted by the introduction of additional vehicles based on its new e-Architecture, which is now being developed. This will take Honda to anticipated sales of 500,000 BEVs by 2030, and ultimately leading to 100% zero emission vehicles sales in North America by 2040, the company said in a news release.
As with other automakers, Honda’s initial zero emission vehicle sales goals of 40% by 2030 are contingent upon fair and equitable access to state and federal EV incentives intended to encourage American consumers to purchase electric vehicles. Honda has urged Congress to ensure that all vehicles made in America are treated equally.
“Launching our first volume BEV in 2024 is the start of an exciting new direction for Honda,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of National Operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We are working with our dealers to plan the transition from sales of primarily gasoline-powered vehicles to selling 100% electric vehicles by 2040.”
Honda’s initial approach to selling the Prologue will be regional, focusing on California and the ZEV states, including the BEV-friendly sunbelt states of Texas and Florida. Honda anticipates these regions will represent the bulk of sales at the onset of launch due to higher customer acceptance and regulatory requirements. As EV infrastructure expands and customer interest grows nationwide, the company will rapidly expand sales and marketing efforts to other areas of the country.
In April 2021, Honda global CEO Toshihiro Mibe outlined the company’s vision for global sales of electrified vehicles as part of Honda’s strategy to achieve carbon-neutrality for its products and corporate activities by 2050. This vision calls for the sales ratio of battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles in North America to progress from 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2035 to 100% by 2040.
Following the 2024 introduction of Honda Prologue, co-developed with GM and based on the Ultium platform, Honda will introduce a series of electrified vehicles in the second half of the decade based on the Honda developed e-architecture and production of BEVs beginning at Honda plants in North America.
Honda's history with electrified/hybrid vehicles in the U.S. started with the EV Plus electric vehicle in 1997, followed by the Honda Insight in 1999, the Honda FCX in 2002, and the Clarity series in 2017. As Honda prepares for the launch of Prologue, the company will introduce hybrid-electric systems to more core models to continue to reduce CO2 emissions and bridge customers to the volume battery-electric vehicles now in development.
“We know customers who have a good experience with a hybrid vehicle are more likely to buy a battery electric vehicle in the future,” said Gardner. “Our strategy is focused on introducing a higher percentage of hybrids in core models in the near term, making a committed effort to achieve higher volume leading to the introduction of our Honda Prologue.”
Honda's news release says it achieved record sales of electrified vehicles in each of the past three years, with sales momentum continuing in 2021. Led by CR-V Hybrid and Accord Hybrid, Honda just recorded its best-ever first-half year of electrified vehicle sales.