Honda to Expand Petrol-Electric Hybrid Range in Australia

Honda to Expand Petrol-Electric Hybrid Range in Australia

Will Honda’s strategy of expanding hybrid options on lower trim levels help them regain market share and meet their zero-emissions target?

The e:HEV drivelines, previously exclusive to top-of-the-line models, will soon be available on lower-specification variants, giving Australian buyers more options, according to Honda Australia’s vice president and director Carolyn McMahon. The move aligns with the government’s New Vehicle Efficiency Standard and Honda’s long-term zero-emissions target.

Honda will be broadening its range of petrol-electric hybrids in Australia soon, as it plans to introduce e:HEV drivelines on lower-specification models, instead of exclusively offering the technology on range-topping models. Carolyn McMahon, Honda Australia’s vice president and director, announced the move during the launch of the eleventh-generation Accord, a hybrid-only model, in Melbourne last week.

McMahon stated that offering hybrid drivetrains on lower trim levels provides more choice for Australian buyers in light of the government’s New Vehicle Efficiency Standard. She further explained how Honda has been monitoring the program and working with its parent company to understand the implications and plans moving forward. Honda welcomes the initiative as it aligns with their long-term zero-emissions goal.

The decision to expand the hybrid range stems from the increasing popularity of hybrids in the Australian market. McMahon acknowledged that many customers feel comfortable transitioning from internal combustion engines (ICE) to hybrids before fully embracing electric vehicles (EVs). This comfort level has led to higher demand for hybrids than initially anticipated.

In an effort to cater to this demand, Honda is collaborating closely with its headquarters in Japan to expand its e:HEV offering to lower model grades. McMahon emphasized that this expansion is part of Honda’s hybrid strategy, which they believe is the right path for the brand. They have witnessed good uptake of hybrids and plan to introduce more hybrid options later this year through mid-life updates or upgrades.

The current hybrid range from Honda is limited to the top-tier variants of each model, resulting in a higher price point for customers. By adding lower spec variants, Honda aims to make the technology more accessible and affordable. This move may also help the brand regain some of the market share it lost when transitioning to an agency sales model.

While the exact breakdown of sales between Honda variants was not provided, McMahon mentioned that hybrid take-up is currently around 40% and exceeded their original estimate of 25% for the range. The success of hybrids has allowed Honda to expand its offering and they now eagerly await the impact on ICE models in the future.

  • Honda plans to offer hybrid drivetrains on lower trim levels in Australia
  • The expansion of the e:HEV offering is expected later this year
  • The increased uptake of hybrids has influenced Honda’s strategy
  • Adding lower spec variants will lower the price of hybrid technology

Honda’s decision to broaden its petrol-electric hybrid range by offering e:HEV drivelines on lower trim levels reflects the increasing demand for hybrids in Australia. The move aligns with the government’s efficiency standard and Honda’s commitment to zero-emissions. By expanding the hybrid options and making them more accessible, Honda expects to see continued growth in hybrid sales and potentially recover market share lost during the transition to agency sales. It will be interesting to observe how this expansion affects the sales of internal combustion engine models in the coming years.