Honda to launch all-electric battery car in China next year

By Reuters
April 20,2017
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The logo of Honda is seen during the 87th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Japan's Honda Motor will launch an all-electric battery car in China next year as demand for plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) expands in the world's largest automobile market, a senior company executive said.

Yasuhide Mizuno, Honda's China chief, told reporters on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show on Wednesday the automaker was "expediting" the development of the EV. He said he expects the car to arrive in showrooms before the end of next year.

Mizuno added that plug-in hybrid models would likely follow, but did not say when that car might hit the market in China.

Carmakers in China are scrambling to develop and sell so-called new energy vehicles (NEVs) in anticipation of tougher new rules expected to be implemented as early as next year.

Those rules will likely require companies to generate as much as eight percent of their China sales with plug-in cars, either fully-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

(Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Stephen Coates)