Honda's new CEO still maintains that hydrogen fuel cells are the best long-term solution for zero-emission vehicles. This is a position that Honda has held as a corporate policy for a number of years. However, the realities of upcoming regulations and the lack of movement in opening hydrogen filling stations are causing Ito-san to take a more pragmatic approach when it comes to product planning.
Ito-san hasn't committed to Honda releasing a production plug-in battery electric vehicle. However, the need to provide a certain number of zero emissions vehicles by mid-decade, and the lack of hydrogen fueling networks means that Honda may have no other option. Honda already has a joint venture with GS Yuasa to produce lithium ion batteries that are destined for hybrid vehicles. That partnership could be expanded to produce batteries for pure BEVs. Honda will be showing a new BEV concept later this month at the Tokyo Motor Show and we'll be sitting down with Ito after the show to follow up on this.