Until very recently, manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) didn’t seem to be the priority at Honda. In fact, the Japanese carmaker has been dubbed the world’s largest internal combustion engine (ICE) manufacturer. The veteran car manufacturer, which has previously focused on developing hydrogen fuel cars, now has two EVs in the works, both slated for a 2018 roll-out.
Joining the EV race at a point in which most car makers already have their own electric cars —including Japanese rivals Toyota and Nissan— Honda seems intent on making their vehicles stand out. Earlier this year, the company presented a dynamic charging system meant to give EVs near unlimited range.
Now, according to an exclusive from the Nikkei Asian Review, Honda is developing EVs that can charge in just 15 minutes. These EVs would supposedly have high-capacity batteries capable of handling such ultra-fast charging.
Nikkei reports that Honda plans to launch their new line of EVs in 2022, each with a range of 240km from a single 15-minute charge. This is a significant improvement, considering how today’s EV chargers work. Some, like Tesla’s network of Superchargers, can recharge EVs to 80 percent in 20 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, others fully charge EVs in three to four hours, while slower charging points take around six to eight hours.
These longer charging times taking more time than refueling petrol and diesel cars have become one of the roadblocks to the mass adoption of EVs. Honda’s supercharging technology, coupled with their dynamic charging system, could potentially change the EV game.
The success of Honda’s plans, however, still depends on how fast other carmakers can improve the battery and charging systems in their respective EVs. Given Honda’s current timetable, there’s a lot that can happen in five years, and a 15-minute charging time might already become an industry standard by then. Nevertheless, Honda’s goal is a promising one. The carmaker is also planning to release EVs in Europe by 2019 and in Japan the year after.