Autos & Transportation

Honda to launch new EV brand in China next year

2 minute read

The Honda logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo

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BEIJING, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Honda Motor (7267.T) will launch a new electric vehicle brand in China next year, it said on Wednesday, and will only launch battery electric, hydrogen fuel-cell or petrol-electric hybrid vehicles there from 2030.

Known for its fuel-efficient internal-combustion engines, Honda sold over 1.6 million vehicles in China last year.

The new brand will be called "e:N Series" and it plans to roll out 10 models with partners GAC (601238.SS) and Dongfeng Motor (0489.HK) over the next five years, Honda said.

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Its two joint ventures, GAC-Honda and Dongfeng-Honda, plan to build new EV-only assembly plants that are expected to begin production in 2024.

The planned new models will use a new vehicle operating system and are being developed based on an auto product platform designed for electric vehicles.

Honda will set up an e:N Series section in all its existing retail stores.

Over time, Honda also plans to set up dedicated e:N Series retail stores but did not provide detail on that plan.

Honda has roughly 1,200 Honda brand stores currently.

China's sales for electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are expected to reach three million this year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Tuesday.

Honda will continue to sell existing gasoline-powered models even after 2030, it said.

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Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu and Yilei Sun; editing by Jason Neely

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