Honda Plotting New EV For China, Could Launch Next Year

After Renault-Nissan, Volkswagen and other automakers that plan to launch battery-powered cars in China, it’s now time for Honda to follow a similar route.

The announcement was made by the brand’s local chief, Yasuhide Mizuno, who spoke to journalists during the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, Reuters reports. Mizuno said that he expects the EV to hit showrooms before the end of 2018.

It’s still too early to point to an exact model, but it will be part of Honda’s plan to meet up with the tougher requirements that are expected to be implemented as early as next year in China, which forces automakers to sell 8 percent of their fleet with fully-electric or plug-in hybrid technologies.

Whatever the new EV may be, it will likely be put together by Honda’s local partners from Dongfeng, which recently announced expanding their operations in the country by opening their third car assembly plant. It will become operational in 2019, and will bring the joint venture’s annual production capacity to around 600,000 units.

In the meantime, Honda are focusing their attention on promoting the new Clarity EV, in Western markets. The zero-emission model, which debuted in New York earlier this month, joins the hydrogen-powered version, along with a new plug-in hybrid.

Note: Honda Clarity EV pictured