AMSTERDAM — Japanese carmaker Honda has brought forward a goal to only sell electric and hybrid cars in Europe by three years to 2022, a leading company executive said on Wednesday.

Last month, Honda said it would phase out all diesel vehicle sales in Europe by 2021 in favor of electrified vehicles.

The carmaker had said in March it intended "to move 100% of its European sales to electrified powertrains by 2025."

"By 2022 we are confident we can have the full range electrified and actually deliver something quite extraordinary," Tom Gardner, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, said.

Gardner made the announcement in Amsterdam, where Honda was presenting the new Jazz model (sold in the U.S. as the Honda Fit) for the European market.

"We see a big change happening in Europe and today we are announcing our response to that."

"We can also feel the fact that the market around us is expanding. Obviously the legislation around the environment is getting clearer as well. It is the track we are on in terms of the development of the new fully electrified line up."

The European Union has set new rules for carmakers to reduce carbon dioxide vehicle emissions from next year, or face fines.

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch.

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