Honda And Hitachi Join Forces
Honda and Hitachi have started collaborating on a new and exciting project, but it’s not a car. In fact, it’s an entirely new company which will aim to produce and sell electric vehicles. Yup, you read that right. Honda is interested in making more electric cars, but rather than doing it all on their own or just under their own brand, they’ve decided to team up with a leading company in the field: Hitachi. Details are still scarce as this entire thing broke surface just a couple of days ago, but both companies couldn’t exactly contain their excitement from this newfound partnership.
The future of the automobile is electric, we’re all aware of it. Whether we like it or not, it’s inevitable. It’s not a question of if, but when it will happen. Companies like Volvo are aiming to switch to electric vehicles only by as early as 2025, and countries like France are planning on banning petrol and diesel-powered vehicles altogether by 2050. Although that’s, realistically, a short timeframe for all of that to happen, the truth of the matter is that in a century or so, there probably won’t be any internal-combustion engined car in sight. The classic which will be preserved for their history, heritage and value are obviously excluded from this list.
Honda and Hitachi have both invested five billion yen (around $44 million) into the company, with Hitachi Automotive Systems (HAS) taking the controlling stake of 51 percent. Most of the production will take place at Hitachi’s base located in Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture. Being a more technical facility, Hitachi has the necessary tools and expertise to work on and develop such a large project, hence why they were chosen as being the headquarters over Honda. At this point you’re probably thinking: “What does Honda get out of it?” Well, as it turns out, quite a lot actually.
News of this partnership broke out just several weeks after Honda hinted that the new NSX might be an all-out electric proposition, and one can’t help but wonder if their partnership with Hitachi will somehow help develop the car. Technology and systems developed at Hitachi for the two companies’ joint venture models will need a testing mule, and Honda’s existing models can prove to be an invaluable asset. The flagship NSX in particular seems like a really good platform to test out electric powertrains, as it’s the most advanced and innovative vehicles in the last decade or so.
Eventually, electric motors will find their way down to the mundane Civics and Fits, but it’ll be interesting seeing how Honda delivers an electric Civic Type R without disappointing its fans. Our guess is they’ll manage to pull it off because, well, they’re Honda and they never fail to amaze.