Honda of America expects to sell 2 million vehicles in 2016, and the next-generation Honda Fit lineup will play a big role in achieving that sales goal.
Speaking to Automotive News, Honda’s President Takanobu Ito stated that he expects Fit sales to soar to 200,000 units in the next four years, a significant jump from the 64,177 units sold in 2011.
Given that the Fit will become increasingly important to its long-term success, Honda is committed to developing the lineup, with plans to introduce several new variants of the hatchback, including a Fit-based crossover.
While 200,000 units a year may seem very optimistic, that estimate is not completely unfounded. U.S. sales of the latest Fit have been hampered by an unfavorable exchange rate, since all of the units sold come directly from Japan. With Honda CFO Fumihiko Ike revealing that the company limits the number of exports from Japan, U.S. demand for the Fit may actually be higher than supply, suggesting a lot of room for growth.
Honda Civic Type R, NSX Supercar Turn Gold For Australia
The 50th Anniversary collection also features a golden lawnmower and power generator.
Honda has turned 50 years old in Australia, and to celebrate the milestone, designers wrapped a Civic Type R and NSX supercar in gold, along with its fleet of most notable motorcycles and power equipment.
The steadfast Japanese automaker officially entered the Australian market on February 4, 1969, and has since earned the respect of Australians of all ages for its undying pursuit of quality and reliability. Civic Type R and NSX aside, the celebratory vehicles include a golden CBR1000RR Fireblade motorcycle, CRF450L enduro, and CRF50F kids’ bike, as well as a golden lawnmower and power generator.
“Achieving 50 years of longevity and continuity in business is a significant milestone, but none of this would be possible without our people,” said Hiroyuki Shimizu, head of Honda Australia. “Most importantly… Honda would be nothing without our customers — both long-term customers and new customers all contribute to making this brand what it is today… I am incredibly grateful to all our customers for their ongoing loyalty, trust and belief in the Honda name.”
Whatever you need, Honda clearly has you covered. I mean, how many other automaker do you know that, in addition to cars, make lawnmowers?
Unfortunately, these gold Hondas are one-offs specifically intended for show and not for sale. Their gold vinyl wraps are made up of a gold chrome film as the first layer, topped with a clear satin laminate that helps disperse reflections.
Honda Teases Its First Electric Car For Europe
The Japanese automaker is gearing up to electrify its European lineup.
Honda has released a teaser of its first electric vehicle for Europe.
Previewed by the well-received, retro-inspired Urban EV concept that debuted at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new electric car will be a relatively boxy small hatchback that will borrow some styling cues from the concept, including its round headlights.
The Urban EV also had a striking yet simple interior with a massive touchscreen infotainment display, but we don’t expect the production car to have one quite as large.
We don’t know a lot about performance specifications, but a source at Honda has indicated that it will have a relatively short range of around 150 to 200 miles (241-322 km) on a full charge, which places it in the same playing field as the latest Nissan Leaf.
Honda’s new electric car is expected to go sale in Europe by the end of 2019 after making its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. It is part of the company’s commitment to have two thirds of its models in Europe be electrified by 2025.
Honda hasn’t said anything about bringing it to North America.
Honda Announces Promising New Fluoride-ion Battery Tech
The new batteries are 10 times more energy efficient than today’s lithium-ion tech.
While some automakers are betting on solid-state batteries to be the next big breakthrough in the world of electric cars, Honda has been quietly polishing an entirely different breed of batteries that it hopes will one day displace lithium-ion chemistry.
Scientists from the Japanese automaker’s research lab, in collaboration with researchers from the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, have developed a more temperature-stable fluoride-ion battery technology that could result in batteries that are not only 10 times more energy dense than the lithium-ion batteries of today, but also more environmentally-friendly.
Like electric cars, fluoride-based battery tech isn’t particularly new; however, Honda and partners were able to successfully develop a more stable version of the batteries that should prove more feasible.
Whereas previous fluoride-based batteries required an operating temperature of more than 302 F° (150° C), the new and improved batteries are able to operate efficiently at room temperature. Moreover, the materials required to make the batteries can be extracted from the earth with less environmental impact when compared to lithium-ions.
Dr. Christopher Brooks, Chief Scientist, Honda Research Institute, stated:
“Fluoride-ion batteries offer a promising new battery chemistry with up to ten times more energy density than currently available Lithium batteries. Unlike Li-ion batteries, FIBs do not pose a safety risk due to overheating, and obtaining the source materials for FIBs creates considerably less environmental impact than the extraction process for lithium and cobalt.”
The team of scientists have co-authored and published a new paper in discussing how they were able to overcome the current temperature limitations of fluoride-based battery (FIB) technology.
There is still some time before the technology is ready, but Honda believes fluoride-based batteries could be the future of not just electric vehicles, but also smaller power products.