Japanese automaker Honda will launch electric and plug-in hybrid models by 2020. European marketing and sales boss Jean-Marc Streng also confirmed that this powertrain technology will be also offered on smaller cars.
"We have to come with something else to drop emissions and this will come from hybrid and electric," Streng said. He also added that till now, smaller petrol engine like 1.0-litre unit has been the priority.
Streng also said that the sales of the hybrid are "very limited in Europe" and driven by sales incentives. Referencing the 1.0-litre turbo, he added, "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."
Earlier, Mitsuru Kariya of Honda confirmed that the new platform of the 10th-generation Civic can accommodate such a powertrain. However, it doesn't allow an all-electric set-up. European chief Katsushi Inoue noticed the success of hybrids in the Japanese and American market, but the company is more cautious about its entry into Europe.
Honda Jazz is likely to be the first car of the marque to get this all-electric powertrain for the European market. Streng also commented that low-emission powertrains would focus on its smaller cars. "Does a hybrid really make sense in a big SUV? I'd argue not."
The European sales boss for Honda is sure that by 2030, more than two-thirds of the overall car sales will be electric or hybrid. He also said that by 2020, "we should be in this area".
Having struggled over the last few years, Streng also talked about the Japanese marque's current success. He described this success as a "comeback" and praised the vehicles which gave a boost in sales in recent time especially the new CR-V and HR-V. He also added that the next-gen Civic will attract youth because of its sporty and aggressive design.
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