Hitachi Automotive Systems and Honda have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint venture, with a capitalization of around 5 billion yen ($45 million), to develop and manufacture EV motors.
Hitachi first started selling motors for electrified vehicles in 1999, and has since delivered “a high volume” of these motors to vehicle manufacturers in Japan and other countries.
Honda’s first hybrid, the Insight, was launched in 1999, but the company’s hybrids have had limited success compared to those of rival Toyota. Honda has so far shown minimal interest in plug-in vehicles, but it now says that, “with environmental conservation measures and regulations increasing on a global scale, the market for electric vehicles is expected to continue to grow.”
The new Japan-based joint venture plans subsidiary operations in the US and China, each with manufacturing and sales functions. Hitachi will continue to sell motors to other vehicle manufacturers, and Honda will continue to use motors it currently manufactures itself in Japan.