Honda revised its electric motorcycle annual sales target to sell 4 million electric motorbikes a year by 2030 and will invest 500 billion yen ($3.3 billion) by 2030 to rapidly launch new models, the world’s top maker of two-wheelers said Wednesday.
Honda said it will build specialized factories and keep prices affordable to meet that goal, which is 500,000 units higher than the target it announced in September last year. The new goal is equivalent to a thirtyfold increase from the 130,000 electric bikes it sold in 2022. Honda aims to have about 30 models by 2030.
Electric bikes are catching on in India and Southeast Asia, two major motorbike markets, thanks in part to government support. “We raised the target to meet this demand,” said Daiki Mihara, head of Honda’s motorcycle electrification unit, at a news conference.
The company will invest 100 billion yen in 2021-2025 for research and development of design and components for e-motorbikes, and a further 400 billion yen through 2030 to manufacture the products, and components such as battery packs.
The investment includes budgets for construction of new production plants exclusively for e-motorbikes. The plants will each receive an investment of about 50 billion yen and have an annual output of 1 million bikes, and will start coming online from 2027. Their locations will likely be in India and Southeast Asia, although no final decisions have been made, according to Mihara.
The company hopes to halve the price of its products in 2030 compared with current models by reducing the number of parts, optimizing batteries and increasing production efficiency through the use of modules. “Many of our customers live in developing countries and use the bikes for commuting, so we’re aiming for a price range that’s as budget friendly as possible,” Mihara said.
The motorcycle business is a pillar of the company’s portfolio, accounting for over 60% of Honda’s operating income in fiscal 2023. E-motorbikes will not be as profitable as conventional bikes at first due to the smaller production numbers and spending on development, the company said, but added that it aims for an operating profit margin of more than 5% for the segment by 2030.
Honda faces rising competition amid a wave of electrification, as local and emerging rivals ride on the trend in Asian markets.
The company is “confident that it can compete with other makers and startups” by developing a diverse lineup of models, including swappable and onboard batteries, and enhancing connectivity such as updatable software, Mihara said.
Based on the spirit of the Honda Global Brand Slogan, “The Power of Dreams – How we move you.” and through the creation of mobility the company dreams of Honda will become The Power of Dreams of more and more people to become the driving force that moves people and society forward.