Honda considering new EV battery factory in Thailand –

Honda is considering building an electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in Thailand. According to the Bangkok Post, the Japanese carmaker is conducting a feasibility study into the idea, which if implemented, would reduce battery imports from Japan, lowering costs for Thai-assembled cars.

Honda currently assembles and sells four e:HEV hybrid models in Thailand – the City sedan, City Hatchback, Accord and the just-launched second-generation HR-V.

According to Noriyuki Takakura, president and CEO of Honda Thailand, the company is committed to developing new technologies that are kinder to the environment as it joins global efforts to reduce C02 emissions. “We are aware the global car market is moving towards EVs, so we will continue to invest in technologies in order to catch the trend,” he said.

The report adds that Honda will focus on hybrids (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in Thailand, although the demand for full EVs will take time to grow and the current focus is on the former. “Honda will increase the number of HEVs to become a market leader,” Takakura said.

Priced from 979,000 baht (RM125,565) for the E to 1.179 million baht (RM151,216) for the RS, the new HR-V is currently only available as an e:HEV hybrid in Thailand. The i-MMD (intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) system consists of a 1.5 litre Atkinson cycle NA engine with 105 PS/127 Nm, an e-CVT gearbox and an electric motor rated at 131 PS/253 Nm. Total system output is 215 PS and claimed fuel consumption is 25.6 km/l.

In this system, which is similar to our City RS, the engine functions mainly as a generator with the help of an integrated electric motor, which also acts as a starter. A larger second motor drives the front wheels most of the time, but at high speeds, the engine can provide direct drive via a lock-up clutch as it’s more efficient than the e-motor in that situation. Full details on the Thai-spec new HR-V here.

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