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Old 27th December 2019, 10:37   #1
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Default Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo, does not believe that there is much demand for full-electric vehicles. Honda is continuing R&D on EVs due to regulations in different countries.

On full-electric Vehicles:
"Are there really customers who truly want them? I'm not so sure because there are lots of issues regarding infrastructure and hardware. I do not believe there will be a dramatic increase in demand for battery vehicles, and I believe this situation is true globally. There are different regulations in different countries, and we have to abide by them. So it's a must to continue r&d. But I don't believe it will become mainstream anytime soon."

On Hybrids:
"I believe hybrid vehicles will play a critical role. The objective is not electrification, per se, but improving fuel efficiency. And we believe hybrid vehicles are the way to abide by different environmental regulations."

Source:
https://europe.autonews.com/automake...s-outshine-evs

Definitely, there is no demand for EVs with a pathetic range like Honda Clairty BEV. Many may not know, but Honda released a full-electric Clarity EV in USA. In 2019 till now (Jan-Nov), they sold 697 of them in the entire USA. Reason? It has just 143 km of range.

Hybrids are the future? If that's the case, then why the sales of Honda Clarity PHEV sales are much lower than full-electric EVs like Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf? This is despite Clarity having 75 km of EV range and second only to Chevy Volt in EV range for a plug-in hybrid.
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Old 27th December 2019, 10:48   #2
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sri_tesla View Post
Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo, does not believe that there is much demand for full-electric vehicles. Honda is continuing R&D on EVs due to regulations in different countries.
So how is Tesla beating the market trend? Tesla has outsold all the BMWs in USA. Isn't that a trend of customers wanting fully electric vehicles.
I understand USA is a developed country with a proper electric infrastructure in place, still the global sentiment is towards Electric.

If Honda is bullish about hybrid vehicles, they should be introduced in countries like India where there is a lot of scope for improvement in electric infrastructure and Hybrids will be a better stop gap solution until that time.
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Old 27th December 2019, 10:58   #3
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sri_tesla View Post
Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo, does not believe that there is much demand for full-electric vehicles. Honda is continuing R&D on EVs due to regulations in different countries.

On full-electric Vehicles:
"Are there really customers who truly want them? I'm not so sure because there are lots of issues regarding infrastructure and hardware. I do not believe there will be a dramatic increase in demand for battery vehicles, and I believe this situation is true globally. There are different regulations in different countries, and we have to abide by them. So it's a must to continue r&d. But I don't believe it will become mainstream anytime soon."
Meanwhile Tesla: "He's right you know, there really isn't much demand. I mean we only seem to get a few hundred thousand vehicles sold and sadly, we've been able to outsell only BMW with just 1 car. We've hardly got any fans, mostly haters. We've set up supercharger networks for literally no reason. "

On a more serious note, for many other countries particularly ours, he's right about the issues surrounding infrastructure which may only get sorted out in the long term. So in the meantime, hybrids are a good stop gap measure. However, asking whether people really want them seems to be stupid. People do want EVs but are shying away simply because of infra problems and the general lack of range compared to ICEs. The range part is in the manufacturer's control but not the network as there's only so much they can do. The majority of the work has to be done by the government with the help of various electricity boards. They also need to figure out how they're going to cope with increased demand for electricity.
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Old 27th December 2019, 16:34   #4
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

Sony said no demand for flat panels in early 2000s when CRT Trinitron was the leader. Fast forward to 2005 they had to make a deal with samsung to buy lcd panels and later from various outer makers, to stay in business.

Samsung and Sony said no demand for OLED tvs. Today LG is leader in that segment with samsung now investing 11 billion to catch up.

Canon/Nikon said no demand for mirrorless cameras, while Sony/Fuji and m4/3 size mirrorless camera makers slowly took away new would be canon/nikon DSLR customers. Today canon and Nikon have lost that mirrorless camera market.

Nokia and microsoft in phones and mobile OS respectively.

Any manufacturer can say there is no demand, when they don't make such a product.
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Old 27th December 2019, 17:15   #5
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

I am absolutely shocked at how clueless the man is, and he would have 100 times more data than any of us on EVs. The demand for EVs is small today, but it is steadily growing in countries like the USA. China is also betting the house on electric cars.

His statement might stand for India & other similar countries with their own challenges, so if Honda India's CEO had to make such a statement, that would be excusable. But the global boss of Honda saying this is just .

It probably explains why Honda is out of tune with the market's needs today. The company isn't leading in any new technology either.
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Old 27th December 2019, 17:18   #6
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

If they are really betting on hybrids, start with the Indian market. Nothing suits our driving conditions more than a full blown hybrid. Honda has a golden opportunity to do that in the next gen Honda City. Pity that they are going to launch only a mild hybrid.

If they are doubtful about the prospects of EVs, launch the cute Honda E at around 10-12 lakhs.

Indian urban users don't really need a range more than 200kms, and the compact 'E' model would be an instant hit, not withstanding the current highrider craze.
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Old 27th December 2019, 17:26   #7
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

Perfectly explains why Honda, once a formidable & innovative company is looking clueless, at least here in India. Their product portfolio is fairly small given that they entered India officially some 25 years ago. Frequent shuffling off-late within the quarter page list of their cars shows how confused and somewhat helpless Honda in India is. I didn't imagine same state of affairs even on the International front.

If you refuse to acknowledge the future now, the future will not acknowledge your past either however innovative & tech-leader you were.

I can't believe that Honda is still not in sync with this imminent change. The least I expected Honda was to drive this change.
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Old 27th December 2019, 18:23   #8
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

This sounds and looks like a Kodak Moment of a lifetime. I hope someone took a picture while he said these never to be forgotten words. Kodak as we all know dominated the photography market of the world for 100 years. So much so that the phrase 'Kodak moment' entered the English language. They invented the digital camera in 1975 but did not launch it as it would upset their existing lucrative business of selling films by the billion. In mid/late-1990s the world was introduced to the digital camera by the likes of Sony and Apple. Even then Kodak did not budge despite the fact that the Apple cameras were made at a Kodak factory. Kodak woke up only in 2002 after 2001 was the first year that sale of films had not grown in a century of selling. By then the train had left the station. And ten years later in 2012 Kodak filed for bankruptcy.

"Hurrrumphh!! Who shall buy these noisy smelly horseless carriages. People will always need a good comfortable horse drawn carriage. We have been making the best carriages since my grandfathers time" said Mr.Tweedledee in 1898, seven years before Tweedledee Horse Carriage Works Ltd closed down forever.

Is Honda's CEO's name Tweedledee by any chance.
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Old 27th December 2019, 18:29   #9
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

On the other hand:
  • VW just announced that they are raising the electric car production forecast for 2025 by half a million. Earlier VW target was to have 1 million EV production by 2025. Now they are advancing that target to achieve by 2023 and increasing the 2025 target to 1.5 million. From 2021, VW expects to have 3.3 lakh EVs produced per year. 1.5 million number is for just VW branded EVs. Assuming their 2025 sales are the same as currently, their EV market share will be 25% of total VW brand sales.

    Source:
    https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/...-for-2025-5696

  • Tesla just announced they will start deliveries of China made Model 3 vehicles on Dec 30. Factory construction started in Jan 2019 and production started in October 2019 with deliveries to commence in December 2019.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-t...-idUSKBN1YV0MB
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Old 27th December 2019, 18:47   #10
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I am absolutely shocked at how clueless the man is, and he would have 100 times more data than any of us on EVs.
It reminds me of his Q&A I had attended back in 2015. If you look at my report of the Q&A, he got most things wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Kodak woke up only in 2002 after 2001 was the first year that sale of films had not grown in a century of selling. By then the train had left the station.
My first digital camera bought in 2001 was a Kodak DC4800. I chose it over most other cameras, because it was real value for money. Kodak did have good portfolio of digital cameras in 2001. As you said, they couldn't prioritize the business correctly. The top honchos in Kodak were still in film mindset, despite the company having an impressive digital camera portfolio. That dictated how they allocated budget.
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Old 27th December 2019, 18:56   #11
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

Staying away from EVs while investing billions of $ into business jets, a notoriously fickle market, sounds like a leadership that is confused as hell.
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Old 27th December 2019, 19:50   #12
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Staying away from EVs while investing billions of $ into business jets, a notoriously fickle market, sounds like a leadership that is confused as hell.
They are also spending a heck of a lot of money in Formula 1. And are rumoured to buy out Red Bull in the near future.
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Old 27th December 2019, 20:58   #13
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

To a certain extent I don't think he is wrong. Yes, the Tesla has sold a lot, but most Tesla owners have it as a second car. There is virtually nobody today who has an electric car as their only vehicle.

In the future, once there is an infrastructure in place to recharge cars like we do with petrol today, people will not be reluctant, but currently it is not feasible to go fully electric.

For me, the smart way to set up electric charging points will be to use renewable sources like solar/wind. This would prevent stress on the national electric grids, and in any case, most of them run on fossil fuels.
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Old 27th December 2019, 22:04   #14
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

There are issues with EVs in Winter and most people in the Midwestern US don't like them as range decreases with winter and heater usage. But overall, people in the US have bought a lot of EVs. EV infrastructure outside US and Western Europe is abysmally poor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
...but most Tesla owners have it as a second car. There is virtually nobody today who has an electric car as their only vehicle.
That's true. But 3 million families (assuming they have 2 cars each) replacing one car with an EV means 3 million EVs sold.

I've no doubt that good EVs can replace IC engine cars. My relative has a Honda Pilot and a Tesla Model S. He went on a trip from SF Bay Area to Colorado using the Model S. He didn't really face any issues with charging and range

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 27th December 2019 at 22:08.
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Old 27th December 2019, 22:43   #15
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Default Re: Honda CEO: Are there really customers who want fully-electric vehicles?

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Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
To a certain extent I don't think he is wrong. Yes, the Tesla has sold a lot, but most Tesla owners have it as a second car. There is virtually nobody today who has an electric car as their only vehicle.
There are many families in So.Cal with a ModelX and a Model S/Model3. My next car is certainly going to be a Tesla/EV. When, I can drive a Model 3 around the entire continent, why would I need a second car that is not an EV? In fact my second is used only to give rides for our dog, or to bring soil/dirt for gardening.

One can't even argue that a Model 3 is expensive, when you consider 5 year cost of ownership.
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