Electric vehicle news can move quickly, and this was one of those weeks during which numerous automakers made announcements. Here are four that deserve a mention.
Study: Volvo, VW are only European automakers on the right EV track
Numerous automakers have made bold statements about the number of electric vehicles they will be selling in 2025 or 2030 or some other future date. But talk is cheap. A new study by the European group Transport & Environment (T&E) found that only two car companies - Volvo and Volkswagen - are actually on track to make the switch to electric vehicles in a way that aligns with Europe's net-zero climate targets.
T&E called VW and Volvo’s EV strategies “aggressive and credible” but said other automakers, like Ford, have “an ambitious phase-out target but lack a robust plan to get there.” The companies on T&E’s list with the worst strategy include Daimler, BMW, Daimler, Jaguar Land Rover, Stellantis, and Toyota.
Mazda announces “sustainable zoom-zoom” plan
Mazda wasn’t included on T&E’s list, in part because it hasn’t announced any bold electrification plans. This week, however, Mazda explained more about its "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” vision, which is part of Mazda’s efforts to become a carbon-neutral company by 2050. Over the next decade, Mazda will use five main policies to green up its vehicles:
- Increase technological assets
- Promote EVs and offer electrified vehicles for sale (including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric models)
- Promote “human-oriented safety technologies”
- Develop next-generation connected car services
- Use a “human-centered development philosophy”
We’ll see what T&E thinks of this if they update their list soon.
Honda discontinues Clarity plug-in hybrid, hydrogen models
Even when an automaker has made zero-emission plans, things can change. Honda, for example, announced this week that it would stop building the Clarity sedan, with both the hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrid powertrains, later this summer.
The hydrogen-powered Clarity was only available to lease and since almost all of the public H2 refueling stations in the U.S. are in California, there has always been a limited market for this particular model. Honda says it is still committed to zero-emission vehicles, and said in a statement that the automaker "has set a target to make 100% of [its] vehicle sales battery-electric (BEV) or fuel cell electric (FCEV) by 2040.”
BMW, Land Rover prepare new hydrogen models
Honda’s decision to nix the Clarity might be a blow to hydrogen proponents, but two pieces of news this week should give them hope. Both BMW and Jaguar Land Rover announced progress on new fuel-cell vehicles.
BMW said it has started testing the i Hydrogen Next, an X5 SUV with a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain, on European roads before launching it for sale next year. For its part, Jaguar Land Rover said it will start testing a prototype hydrogen fuel cell version of the Defender later this year.