MINING INDABA: Honda to electrify two-thirds of vehicles by 2030, exec says

Honda Motor Co Ltd aims to electrify around two-thirds of the vehicles it produces by 2030, an executive at the Japanese automaker said.

The goal is part of the company’s electrification strategy, with around half of production to be comprised of hybrid electric vehicles (EVs), Honda managing officer Noriya Kaihara said.

Zero-emissions vehicles, either through battery electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles, will account for around 15% and the remaining 35% internal combustion engines.

“We’re aware our target is quite high,” he said at the 25th Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, adding that the company views the target as achievable and will require increased quantities of battery materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel.

Honda has recognized the potential for carbon emissions reduction through the transition to EVs, he said, with the transportation sector currently the second-largest emitter of carbon at almost one-quarter of the global total.

“In order to give our customers confidence we need to improve the performance of the electric vehicle,” he said.

Ensuring raw materials are sourced responsibly is essential, he said, adding that Honda believes this can be achieved via cooperation and collaboration between governments and stakeholders.

There have been concerns over responsible sourcing of cobalt, with some mines allegedly using child labor or being in conflict zones.

“We expect the resources industry to establish stability in its business environment, as well as transparency and cooperation,” he added.

Fastmarkets’ latest price assessment for standard-grade cobalt was at $18.75-20.35 per lb on Friday February 1, down by 28.3% from $26.50-28 per lb at the end of December and a nearly two-year low. The price was last recorded below this level on February 15, 2017, when it was at $18.85-19.95 per lb.

Persistent selling pressure is dominating the spot market, with buyers minimizing their buying activity due to expectations that the metal price will continue to decline.