Honda waits on affordable small EVs until very late in the decade. The Ioniq 6 is cheaper than the Model 3. Rivian aims to halve its EV carbon footprint. And yes, EVs will drive electricity costs down. This and more, here at Green Car Reports.
Honda still has no affordable, mass-market EV—an equivalent to the Civic, you might say. Based on remarks from Honda’s global CEO, that’s not coming soon—or an Accord EV or Odyssey EV—but solid-state batteries may enable an affordable small Honda EV by 2030.
With $7,500 of “retail bonus cash”—a rebate on purchases, not leases–the 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 is much cheaper than the Tesla Model 3. Looking at the latest “Highland” Model 3, as priced last week, it undercuts the Tesla by $9,000.
A recent “study of studies” by an energy-policy advocacy organization, the ACEEE, finds that a shift to EVs will drive the cost of electricity down over the long term. That’s partly because once more people are charging EVs on the grid, they’re making better use of it.
Rivian’s new environmental impact report, underscores that it’s aiming for EVs with half the carbon footprint, on a lifecycle basis, by 2030.
Rivian CO2 Footprint – Honda’s Finest EV
Before you jump into the details, you should know,
There are a billion and a half road vehicles worldwide, with more than 90% of them using oil-based fuels, and by the half of this century, their number will double. How many of them will be “Zero Emission Vehicles” in less than thirty years from now?
Predictions vary by a large degree, but there’s a high risk that EVs and FCEVs can only replace ICEVs by a small margin.
In addition to being less expensive than the current R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV, Rivian believes its upcoming R2 EV will have a smaller carbon footprint as well.
And looking beyond the initial R2, Rivian intends to keep cutting the footprint of its vehicles. As noticed by The Verge, the company said in its first environmental impact report that its goal is to launch EVs “with half the lifecycle carbon footprint” of its 2022 R1 models by 2030.
Rivian aims to accomplish that in part through the increased use of recycled materials for manufacturing new vehicles. The company set targets of 70% recycled content in steel and aluminum parts by 2030, as well as 40% recycled and bio-based content in polymer materials by that date.
Rivian also plans to use 100% renewable energy to power its facilities by 2030 and plans to “support” the creation of 2 gigawatts of renewable energy projects to help decarbonize its charging network.
Rivian’s R2 will be revealed later this year and is expected to be priced in the $40,000-$60,000 range—appreciably lower than the R1 models. But production isn’t scheduled to start until 2026. By that time, Rivian should have a second factory online in Georgia, in addition to its current Illinois plant.
It’s unclear what comes next—although Rivian has long hinted that a rally-flavored off-road-capable crossover could follow those other models.
While Rivian’s impact report emphasizes various ways in which gains may be made in manufacturing and sourcing, today’s electric pickups already emit less carbon dioxide than the average gasoline truck, anywhere in the U.S., according to a 2022 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). That’s despite electric pickups’ relative inefficiency compared to other EVs.
What about Honda? Will Solid State Batteries be affordable anytime soon? Continue reading to find out.
Solid-State Batteries May Be Available As Affordable EVs by 2030, Says Honda CEO
Honda built its original reputation around affordable small cars like the Civic.
Yet decades on, segueing into an era of EVs, it has no battery-electric equivalent to the Civic. As Honda’s global CEO alluded this past week in a Q&A with Green Car Reports and various automotive and tech media at CES, it doesn’t see how the parallel pencils out quite yet.
It might take a technology breakthrough, like solid-state battery tech, before Honda can make sense of a small affordable car.
“Whether the vehicle is luxury or affordable, the battery cost is the same,” said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe, through a translator.
Mibe explained that if Honda wants to create a car that costs $30,000, it’s considered solid-state batteries because the battery costs would go down, the range would increase, and the cooling system could be simplified. Otherwise, it faces a compromised range.
“The benefit would be huge,” he added. “For small cars, I think we need a breakthrough type of tech…otherwise it would be difficult.”
Honda has been working on its own all-solid-state battery tech and last year said that it’s targeting a 50% reduction in weight—or, to put it another way, a 50% boost in energy density by weight.
Mibe, with Senior Managing Executive Officer Shinji Aoyama, explained that the company would like to realize an affordable EV “very late in the 2020s.”
Honda has yet to have a U.S. EV since its limited-availability Clarity Electric, but its 2024 Prologue SUV, an effort with GM, arrives in a few months. In Europe, it recently announced the discontinuation of its stylish Honda E, which costs nearly 40,000 euros and boasts a driving range of just 138 miles.
The Honda Saloon and Space-Hub concepts revealed last week at CES are built on a mid-large propulsion platform, the CEO clarified, while there will be multiple production Honda 0 Series EVs built on smaller and larger platforms.
However, unfortunately, we won’t be able to see any Civic EV or Accord EV any time soon.
Why Don’t Those Head-Turning Concepts Bear Honda’s Big Brand-Equity Names?
Don’t expect any of Honda’s 0 Series models to follow existing Honda nameplates like Accord, Civic, Odyssey, or CR-V. According to Aoyama, the company has been looking at Honda-brand EV traction for the past few years, and it decided that it would be more difficult for the company to merely add EV versions of legacy models.
Aoyama underscored that Acura is being handled differently, though. Acura is bringing back a badge last used for a gasoline model for its upcoming Acura ZDX EV. On the other hand, Honda is in the midst of transitioning its models to hybrid propulsion—with the 2024 Honda Civic Hybrid due soon.
It was not a long time ago, when Honda and GM announced their partnership. However, soon after that, they also parted themselves away. The goal was to deliver affordable mid-range EVs.
Both companies ended their partnership in October saying, “After we did some studies, we decided it would be very difficult to have a viable business.” As said by Mibe.
When they looked into separate strategies, GM started to focus on its next-generation Bolt EUV. Apart from Honda, LFP battery tech also borrows another key tech from GM’s ultium propulsion suite.
They already started with $34,995. It’s the initial price for the Chevy Equinox EV.
It is likely the Bolt EUV will effectively start under $27,500. However, Honda isn’t part of that plan.
Other studies were also conducted. One such is the December 2022 study Synapse. It was a New York-based study. It also looked at costs and revenue associated with EVs on California’s three largest utilities from 2012 to 2021.
The study showed that, within this period, EV drivers “contributed approximately $1.7 billion more in revenue than the associated cost.” It improved down rates for all utility customers. This is because only 8% to 17% of EV charging studied happened during peak hours.
Gas prices will also drop in 2024. Following this, electricity prices may continue to rise somewhat. However, it still costs much less to “fuel” an EV. What’s your opinion on this? Let us know below.