Japan's Honda to sell electric commercial vans in 2024

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Japan's Honda to sell electric commercial vans in 2024

TOKYO Honda Motor Co said it would begin selling micro-sized commercial electric vans in spring 2024, as part of its effort to electrify its vehicle lineups.

Japanese automakers are turning to small commercial trucks to make battery electric vehicles popular in the country, tapping into car size unique to the country as a way to reduce its carbon footprint.

Honda's electric van has a target cruising range of 200 km 125 miles and is looking to set the price at around 1 million yen $7,270 Gasoline-electric hybrid models are much more popular in Japan and BEVs accounted for just 1 per cent of the passenger cars sold in Japan last year.

Automakers believe small commercial vehicles are the key to popularise BEVs in the country, as 40 per cent of cars on the road are micro kei cars and businesses are under pressure from investors to reduce their carbon footprint.

In April, Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe said that the fastest way to spread the use of electric vehicles in Japan is to first capture the commercial market, especially in the area of light vehicles, which are the mainstay of the Japanese market.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp launched its commercial truck, Minicab-MiEV, which has a cruising range of 133 km 83 miles and costs about 2.4 million yen without a subsidy.

In July, the commercial vehicle coalition, CJPT, led by Toyota Motor Corp, said it would develop small electric commercial vans with minivehicle specialists Daihatsu and Suzuki Motor Corp.

In April of this year, Honda set out goals to produce some 2 million electric vehicles a year and 30 electric vehicle models by the year 2030.