Honda and IBM sign Memorandum of Understanding to Explore Long-term Joint Research and Development of Semiconductor Chip and Software Technologies for Future Software-Defined Vehicles

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Honda) today announced that Honda and IBM have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining their intent to collaborate on the long-term joint research and development of next-generation computing technologies(1) needed to overcome challenges related to processing capability, power consumption, and design complexity for the realization of the software-defined vehicles (SDV) of the future.

The application of intelligence/AI technologies is expected to accelerate widely in 2030 and beyond, creating new opportunities for the development of SDVs. Honda and IBM anticipate that SDVs will dramatically increase the design complexity, processing performance, and corresponding power consumption of semiconductors compared to conventional mobility products. In order to solve anticipated challenges and realize highly-competitive SDVs, it is critical to develop capabilities in the independent research and development of next-generation computing technologies. Based on this understanding, the two companies began considering long-term joint research and development opportunities.

In particular, the MOU outlines areas of potential joint research of specialized semiconductor technologies such as brain-inspired computing(2) and chiplet technologies, with the aim to dramatically improve processing performance while, simultaneously, decreasing power consumption. Hardware and software co-optimization is important to ensure high performance and fast time to market. To achieve such benefits and manage design complexity for future SDVs, the two companies also plan to explore open and flexible software solutions. 

Through this collaboration, the two companies would strive to realize SDVs that feature the world’s top-level computing and power saving performance.

(1) Computing technology being developed with an aim to achieve both high processing performance and low power consumption in the 2030s and beyond.
(2) Computer architecture and algorithms that mimic the brain’s structure and function while optimizing for silicon.


Topic: Press release summary

Honda Opens New R&D Facility in Bengaluru to Accelerate Electrification in India

Honda R&D (India) Private Limited (HRID), a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and functioning as Honda’s research and development arm for motorcycles & power products in India, today opened its new Solution R&D Center in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Honda sets global target of achieving carbon neutrality in all of its products and corporate activities by 2050, and is working to make a wide range of its products carbon neutral in terms of their power sources. In the motorcycle business, Honda is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality for all of its motorcycle products during the 2040s.

Shifting to India where economic development continues, in 2021, the Indian government announced at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (also known as 26th Conference of the Parties, COP26) that the country will work toward achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2070.

Under such environmental change, Honda believes that in order to continue to be chosen by customers, the company needs not only to respond to electrification trends, but also to create new value outside of the established framework, and provide more attractive products and services.

The Solution R&D Center will incorporate advanced mobility technologies into electrified vehicle development more quickly, as well as work on software and connected services through ‘co-creating’ open innovation by adopting technologies and ideas of research and development companies. In addition, by taking advantages of ‘ecosystem*1’ from its geographical location, the Solution R&D Center will be partnering with companies with new ideas to develop new services and businesses that go beyond the scope of existing businesses and products from a long-term perspective.

Furthermore, Honda will actively work to solve social issues, such as the effective use of energy through Honda’s Triple Action to ZERO*2 initiative (carbon neutrality, clean energy, and resource circulation), and the prevention of traffic accidents to realize a society with zero traffic collision fatalities*3.

Honda will continue to provide products with new added value that is uniquely Honda, through various technological advancements and innovations, bringing ‘the joy of freedom of mobility’ to its customers.

(1) A common profit environment for products and services established by multiple companies.
(2) Honda’s three pillars to achieve zero environmental impact throughout the life cycle of products and corporate activities by 2050.
(3) Honda aims to achieve zero fatalities in traffic accidents involving Honda motorcycles and automobiles globally by 2050.


Topic: Press release summary

Japan – Honda Plans to Establish Comprehensive Electric Vehicle Value Chain in Ontario, Canada

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that it plans to build a comprehensive EV value chain in Canada with an approximate investment of CAD$15 billion, including investment by joint venture partners, to strengthen its EV supply system and capability to prepare for a future increase in EV demand in North America. Honda has begun evaluating the requirements to build an innovative and environmentally responsible Honda EV plant and a stand-alone Honda EV battery plant in Alliston, Ontario. The proposed Honda EV value chain will also include a cathode active material and precursor (CAM/pCAM) processing plant through a joint venture partnership with POSCO Future M Co., Ltd. and a separator plant through a joint venture partnership with Asahi Kasei Corporation, with announcements to follow in their respective Ontario communities.

Honda expects that electric vehicle production will begin in 2028. Once fully operational, the EV plant will have a production capacity of 240,000 EVs per year and the EV battery plant will have a capacity of 36 GWh per year. In addition to securing the current employment level of 4,200 associates at its two existing manufacturing facilities in Ontario, Honda estimates it will add a minimum of 1,000 new associates for the EV and EV battery manufacturing facilities. The investment in the new facilities will also create significant spinoff jobs across all sites, including in the construction sector.

Honda has begun the process of evaluating the scope of its investment and completing negotiations with its joint venture partners. This work is expected to be finalized during the next six months and more details will be shared at that time.

To support this project, Honda is collaborating with the governments of Canada and Ontario to drive innovation in low-emissions manufacturing by accessing performance-based initiatives available through the federal government’s new Investment Tax Credits and provincial direct and indirect incentives.

North American EV strategy

Striving to realize carbon neutrality for all its products and corporate activities by 2050, Honda has set a goal to make BEVs and FCEVs represent 100% of vehicle sales by 2040. To achieve this goal, Honda will continue offering attractive products in this electrified era globally, including its largest market of North America.

As the first step in achieving this electrification goal in North America, Honda positioned its existing auto production plants in the state of Ohio in the U.S. as its EV Hub for production, including the retooling of existing plants, an investment of USD$700 million, and the construction of a joint venture EV battery plant with LG Energy Solution, with an expected investment of USD$4.4 billion.

The Ohio EV hub will serve as the foundation for future EV and EV battery production, sharing knowledge and expertise with other Honda plants in North America, including the new EV assembly and battery plants in Ontario, Canada. Honda expects EV production to begin at the Marysville Auto Plant in late 2025.

As a second step in this initiative, Honda will strive to establish a comprehensive EV value chain that includes all aspects of EV production in Canada, from the procurement of raw materials mainly for batteries, to the production of finished EVs. Honda will leverage EV production knowledge learned at the Ohio EV Hub, combined with the abundant resources and clean energy available in Canada, to establish a stable supply system for batteries, the key component of EVs, and increase cost competitiveness of its EVs as a whole.

Furthermore, with an eye toward secondary use and the recycling of batteries, Honda will realize low-carbon value creation throughout the entire battery life cycle, through which Honda will establish a highly profitable business foundation and contribute to the realization of a carbon-neutral society.

For more information and future updates, please visit www.hondanews.ca.

Comments by Toshihiro Mibe, Global CEO of Honda: 

“Honda is making progress in our global initiatives toward the realization of our 2050 carbon neutrality goal. In North America, following the initiative to establish our EV production system capability in the U.S., we will now begin formal discussions toward the establishment of a comprehensive EV value chain here in Canada, with the support of the governments of Canada and Ontario. We will strengthen our EV supply system and capability with an eye toward a future increase in EV demand in North America.”

Comments by Jean Marc Leclerc, President and CEO of Honda Canada Inc.:

“Honda of Canada Manufacturing is one of the premier automotive manufacturing facilities in the world and for nearly forty years, our work has been guided by determination, innovation, and a relentless drive to evolve. Today’s announcement is a historic investment by a manufacturer in the Canadian auto industry. It proudly honours the highly skilled associates who have earned a global reputation for manufacturing excellence and represents Honda’s recognition of the long-term attractiveness of the Canadian electric vehicle manufacturing ecosystem.”

About Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is responsible for the development, production and sales of automobiles, motorcycles, power products and aviation products worldwide. Honda now delivers over 28 million products annually through its three product lines. Honda and its partners build products in more than 60 manufacturing plants in 27 countries, employing about 197,000 associates globally. On a global basis by 2050, Honda is striving to achieve carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities, as well as zero traffic collision fatalities involving Honda automobiles and motorcycles.

About Honda Canada Inc.

Honda Canada Inc. was founded in 1969 and is the parent company for both Honda and Acura vehicle brands in Canada. Since 1986, the company has produced Honda engines and more than 10 million cars and light trucks at its Alliston, Ontario manufacturing facilities, where Honda Civic and Honda CR-V are currently built. Honda has invested over $6.5 billion in Canadian operations, and each year sources over $3 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers. Since its inception, Honda Canada has sold over five million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks in Canada through a dealer network of more than 280 dealerships across the country. For more information, please visit www.hondacanada.ca.

About Honda of Canada Manufacturing

Honda of Canada Manufacturing (HCM) began production in Alliston, Ontario in November 1986 and is Honda’s only manufacturing facility in Canada. HCM’s two plants sit on 890 acres, encompass approximately 4 million square feet, and employ 4,200 associates. The plants have the capacity to produce more than 400,000 vehicles each year combined. HCM manufactures two of Honda’s best-selling models, the Honda Civic and the CR-V, and produced its 10 millionth vehicle in 2023. For more information, please visit www.hondacanadamfg.ca.

Japan – Honda Reaches Basic Agreement with Asahi Kasei on Collaboration for Production of Battery Separators for Automotive Batteries in Canada

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that the company has reached a basic agreement with Asahi Kasei Corporation on collaboration for the production of battery separators for automotive batteries in Canada. The two companies will begin detailed discussions with the goal to establish a joint venture company before the end of 2024.

A battery separator is a porous membrane* with the function of preventing electrical short circuits by blocking contact between cathode and anode materials while allowing lithium ions to permeate through it. The separator is a critical component of lithium-ion batteries.

The two companies reached this basic agreement based on a shared understanding that it is important to establish a supply chain that would ensure stable supply of high-performance batteries in the North American electrification market, where mid- to long-term growth is expected. Based on this agreement, the two companies will begin discussions toward the establishment of a joint venture company which will produce separators for automotive batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) Honda will produce and sell in North America as well as for batteries to be supplied to other OEMs. 

The two companies will share each other’s strengths, such as high value-added material technologies and electrification technologies, to produce high-quality separators to be utilized for EV batteries. This will enable the realization of high-performance EVs, which will lead to the acceleration of respective initiatives toward carbon neutrality.

Comments by Hiroyoshi Matsuyama, Senior Executive Officer of Asahi Kasei Corp.

“At Asahi Kasei, we have been positioning our energy storage business as one of the ‘10 Growth Gears (GG10),’ which will drive the future growth of Asahi Kasei Group. At the core of this area, our Hipore™ lithium-ion battery (LIB) separator business has been leading technological innovation throughout its history of more than 40 years to contribute to the advancement of LIBs. Through this collaboration, by deepening our cooperation with Honda, which has extensive experience in North America and has been committed to electrification of automobiles, we will play a role in the growth of the EV market as well as the energy transition in North America by contributing to a further increase in the productivity, safety and battery life of LIBs required in the era of full-fledged electrification.”

Comments by Manabu Ozawa, Managing Executive Officer of Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

“Striving to realize carbon neutrality, Honda has set a goal to make BEVs and FCEVs represent 100% of our global vehicle sales by 2040. Separators are extremely important battery materials that contribute to the enhancement of battery performance and durability, which are essential for EVs. The production of separators in Canada through the partnership with Asahi Kasei, which has outstanding technological strengths and extensive knowledge, will be a challenge Honda will take on with great significance. Through this initiative, Honda will continue creating EVs with greater competitiveness and fulfill demand for electrified vehicles in the North American market where continuous growth is expected into the future.”

*Porous membrane is a membrane that features network of tiny holes (pores) which makes the membrane permeable. Due to the permeability, porous membrane is used for separators and ion-exchange membranes.

Copyright ©2024 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Japan – Honda Unveils Next-generation EV Series for China

Honda today unveiled the (yè) Series (“Ye Series”), an all-new EV series Honda will introduce to the Chinese market, including the world premiere of the first set of the Ye Series models, namely (yè) P7 (“Ye P7”) and (yè) S7 (“Ye S7”), as well as the concept model for the second set of series models, the (yè) GT CONCEPT (“Ye GT CONCEPT”).

Honda is planning to launch a total of six the Ye Series models in China by 2027.

The three models unveiled today are scheduled to be exhibited at the 18th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2024) to be held later this month in Beijing, China.

Honda is currently offering the e:N Series EV models in China, where electrification of automobile products is in progress, and the all-new Ye Series models will be a new addition to the lineup. The new series was named with the Chinese letter which means “shine brilliantly,” representing Honda’s desire to enable everyone who drives Ye Series models to unleash their innermost passions through the joy of driving, and let their individuality shine brilliantly.

To represent Honda’s determination to continuously pursue new challenges and advancements and to accelerate its transformation in China where the EV shift is proceeding rapidly, the all-new Ye Series models will wear the new “H mark” designed exclusively for Honda’s next-generation EV models.

As next-generation EVs, the Ye Series models are being developed in pursuit of more value for customers. In addition to human-centric packaging based on the M/M concept*1, which is the foundation of Honda car design, the Ye Series models feature driving performance that further refines the “joy of driving” by applying a newly developed dedicated EV platform developed in China and integrating it with electrification technologies Honda has amassed over many years. As for application of intelligence technologies, including offering of an AI-powered assistant, the Ye Series models are being developed with the aim to create a “space” where all occupants can enjoy comfortable mobility. 

*1 The M/M (Man Maximum, Machine Minimum) concept is the foundation of Honda car design, which calls for maximizing the space available for people and minimizing the space required for mechanical components to increase the efficiency of the space inside the vehicle. 

About the Ye P7 and the Ye S7

The all-new Ye P7 and the Ye S7, the first set of Ye Series models, were developed based on the newly developed dedicated EV platform and will be available in two variations – a one-motor rear-wheel drive model and a two-motor four-wheel drive model. Both variations are designed in pursuit of the “joy of driving.” More specifically, the rear-wheel drive variation was designed to offer sporty and crisp handling, and the four-wheel drive variation was designed to offer both high power and highly responsive handling to realize driving at the will of the driver. 

Inside the vehicle, a spacious cabin enables both front and rear seat occupants to enjoy a comfortable ride, while also enjoying driving experience with a sense of intelligence, which can be achieved by changing emission patterns of LED lights on the instrument panel and door panels that change in conjunction with the AI-powered assistance and other functions.

The vehicle designs reflect the respective style and image each model strives to create: the Ye P7 expresses a seamless, sophisticated and smart sense of the future and the Ye S7 expresses a more emotional sense of the future that stimulates people who see the vehicle.

The all-new Ye P7 and Ye S7 models are scheduled to go on sale at the end of 2024.

About the Ye GT CONCEPT

The Ye GT CONCEPT is a concept model developed with the aim of creating a model that represents Honda EVs in China. In keeping with the “low & wide” silhouette that pertains to its GT (Grand Tourer) name, the driver’s seat is designed to immerse the driver in the driving experience, much like a race driver. Moreover, the dynamic performance has been thoroughly refined to provide the ultimate driving experience in which the driver enjoys a sense of unity with the vehicle.

For the front seat passenger, a far-focus display that provides a sense of depth and experience as if viewing a large screen, will be adopted for the first time for Honda automobile products, offering an immersive space similar to a private theater.

As the second set of the Ye Series models, production models based on the Ye GT CONCEPT are scheduled to go on sale before the end of 2025.

Honda has set a global goal of realizing carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities Honda is involved by 2050. Toward this end, starting with the introduction of the e:NS1 and e:NP1 models in 2022, Honda is planning to introduce a total of 10 Honda-brand EV models in China by 2027, and striving to make EVs represent 100% of its automobile sales in China by 2035.

Overview of Honda exhibits at the Auto China 2024 in Beijing

Honda will exhibit a wide variety of electrified models at the 18th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2024), including next-generation EV models, namely the Ye P7, the Ye S7 and the Ye GT CONCEPT unveiled today, as well as the e:NP2 and the e:NS2, the second set of e:N series models and multiple plug-in hybrid models. Auto China 2024 will be held in Beijing, China (Press days: April 25-26, Trade days: April 27-28, Public days: April 29-May 5, 2024).