Honda to hit brakes on diesel vehicles in Europe by 2021

Japanese carmaker moving towards electrification of vehicles in line with European Union emission targets.

    Honda Motor last month reported a 16 percent drop in first-quarter operating profit. It has been trying to reinvent itself as the industry moves towards shared, electric and autonomous vehicles [File: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg]
    Honda Motor last month reported a 16 percent drop in first-quarter operating profit. It has been trying to reinvent itself as the industry moves towards shared, electric and autonomous vehicles [File: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg]

    Honda Motor Co Ltd said on Monday it would phase out all diesel cars by 2021 in favour of models with electric propulsion systems, as the Japanese carmaker moves to electrify all of its European cars by 2025.

    Honda is the latest carmaker to cut production of diesel cars to meet stringent global emissions regulations. The plan is part of its long-term goal to make electric cars, including all battery-electric vehicles, to account for two-thirds of its line ups by 2030 from less than 10 percent now.

    By next year, according to European Union emission targets, carbon dioxide (CO2) must be cut to 95 grammes per kilometre (5.4 ounces per mile) for 95 percent of cars from the current 120.5 grammes per kilometre (6.8oz per mile) average, a figure that has increased of late as consumers spurn fuel-efficient types of diesel and embrace SUVs. All new cars in the EU must be compliant in 2021.

    For Honda, declining demand for diesel vehicles and tougher emissions regulations have clouded its manufacturing prospects in Europe.

    Honda said in February it would close its only British car plant in 2021 with the loss of up to 3,500 jobs.

    Japan's number three carmaker has said it would cut the number of car model variations to a third of current offerings by 2025, reducing global production costs by 10 percent and redirecting those savings towards advanced research and development.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency