Honda to Unveil Electric Car Concept at LA Auto Show
Honda CEO endorses electric cars
Honda CEO Takanobu Ito recently made remarks to a small group of Japanese reporters that revealed just how far his opinions diverge from those of his predecessor, Takeo Fukui, particularly regarding the future of electric cars. Fukui, who was the company's CEO until February of 2009, saw hydrogen fuel-cell cars as the best alternative to gasoline-powered cars and had little use for electric cars, citing their limited range as a major drawback. Ito apparently feels differently.
Ito cautiously endorsed electric cars, noting that there seems to be a market for them. He stated that Honda cannot keep denying the demand or potential of electric cars, although he did not predict exactly how well electric cars could ultimately sell. Honda had already announced plans to release a plug-in hybrid and a pure electric car by 2012, but Ito's statements mark the first time that a CEO of Japan's second-largest automaker has expressed any confidence in the electric car market. Ito will be unveiling Honda's latest electric car concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17, marking the first time that a CEO of Honda has ever revealed a new car at this show.
Ito will be in good company at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Toyota, another Japanese automaker who was slow to endorse purely electric cars, will be showing an electric version of its RAV4 at the show. Although Honda and Toyota were slow to endorse electric cars, their eventual support demonstrates the health of the electric vehicle market, even in the eyes of those who were initially skeptical.