Honda has announced its plans to phase out pure petrol and diesel engines in Europe by the end of 2022, after which the line-up will only consist of hybrids or full electric vehicles. Honda Europe senior vice president, Ian Howells told Autocar that “if legislation starts to move as we approach 2035, transitions away from hybrid as well, then we’ll move our technology away from that.”

Howells said that Honda believes in a multi-pathway approach to reduce its carbon footprint, and the recent announcement to ban petrol/diesel car sales in the UK by 2030 hasn’t changed that either. He added that there is a role for alternative technologies such as e-fuels, biomass, hydrogen, to some degree for conventional fuels, and also batteries.”

As the industry transitions to a full electric future, Howells said EVs are not the immediate solution to reducing carbon footprint. He explained that the cost of making EVs can be up to “50% more expensive thant a conventional or hybrid vehicle.”

However, Howells said he is aware of the limitations of current hybrid technologies. “They don’t take us the full way and that’s why we do see this as a transitioning or bridging type of technology to get us to the point at which the technology behind the batteries and the infrastructure are both in place to move forward to offering mass personal mobility with a new type of energy carrier.”