Honda’s first electric vehicles to arrive in Australia might arrive here earlier than previously expected, with a timeline of within the next three years on the cards.

    Reports from a roundtable meeting with Honda Australia boss Carolyn McMahon in March 2023 suggested the brand wouldn’t launch an EV locally within the next five years, putting 2028 as the year in which the first model could be expected.

    However, speaking last week at the launch of the new Accord, Ms McMahon set out to correct the record, claiming the widely reported 2028 figure was incorrect – but without specifying a new date.

    “I think this time last year we spoke about our mid-term plan, some pegged that at 2028 [for the first EV’s launch],” Ms McMahon told media present.

    “It’ll be earlier than that. I can’t tell you exactly at this point because we’re still firming that up, but in the background we’re working really hard on Honda’s movement into introducing battery electric [vehicles] into the Australian market.”

    While Honda now offers a hybrid variant of every model in its local range, it has never sold an EV in Australia – though grey market imports of the now-defunct Honda e city car have occurred through third-party companies.

    At present, Honda currently produces a limited selection of EVs in China, Europe, Thailand and, in partnership with General Motors, in Mexico.

    It recently pulled the plug on the Europe-focused e hatchback but commenced exports of its Chinese e:Ny1 to Europe. The small crossover is also built in Thailand.

    The carmaker plans to roll out a total of 30 EVs globally by 2030 with more models coming from Japan and other countries.

    Honda also announced it will invest CAD$15 billion (A$16.8 billion) along with an as-yet unnamed joint venture partner to establish an EV assembly and battery plant in Ontario, Canada for the North American market.

    When asked whether any of these regions had been shortlisted or ruled out as the source of Australian-bound EVs, Ms McMahon said supply will be based on which production line can cater to local compliance regulations.

    “We’ll draw from wherever we can to meet the compliance requirements of this market, and can meet the majority of consumer requirements from the market,” Ms McMahon said.

    “At the moment we’re not ruling anything out, so unfortunately I can’t comment on specifics today.”

    Out of the nine Japanese carmakers operating in Australia, five sell EVs: Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan and Subaru. Suzuki, Isuzu Ute, Mitsubishi and Honda don’t currently offer battery-electric vehicles to local buyers.

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    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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