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Honda Plans To Invest $64 Billion In R&D As It Pursues Its Electrification Goals

Honda Plans To Invest $64 Billion In R&D As It Pursues Its Electrification Goals
Honda Motor Co Ltd of Japan announced on Tuesday that it expects to invest $64 billion on research and development over the next decade, with the goal of launching 30 electric car models globally by 2030.
It also hopes to produce 2 million electrified vehicles per year by 2030. The plan is part of an attempt to gain traction in the fast-growing electric vehicle sector, where Tesla Inc leads and conventional European and American rivals fear lagging behind.
Honda and other Japanese automakers have long stated that they will not abandon older hybrid technologies when they transition to electric vehicles. Hybrid proponents point to the several markets - particularly some emerging nations - where battery electric car infrastructure will be a challenge.
"By no means is this the end of hybrids and the replacement of all hybrids with EVs," Honda Chief Executive Toshihiro Mibe told the presentation.
"We will develop our current hybrids and use them as a weapon in our business."
The electrification and software technologies would receive the majority of the 8 trillion yen ($64 billion) investment. This includes a 43 billion yen investment on a demonstration line for solid-state battery production, with production set to begin in April 2024.
Honda's stock rose 0.7 per cent at the closing of morning trading in Tokyo, surpassing the Nikkei 225 index, which fell 1.4 per cent.
Ford Motor Co, on the other hand, announced on Monday that it has signed a preliminary agreement to buy lithium from a Lake Resources NL facility in Argentina, marking the first time the automaker has publicly stated where it will source the metal for electric vehicle batteries.
Ford is placing a large bet on direct lithium extraction (DLE), a relatively new technology that filters the metal from brines while requiring significantly less land than open-pit mines and evaporation ponds.
GM, BMW, Stellantis NV, and other Ford competitors have signed supply agreements with companies that plan to utilise DLE technology.
Lake's Kachi project in northern Argentina, which is being developed with privately held extraction firm Lilac Solutions Inc., is expected to supply Ford with 25,000 tonnes of white metal per year.
Despite the support of Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures and other high-profile investors, Lilac's technology, like all DLE technologies, has yet to be commercialised.
The Lake-Ford agreement is nonbinding and would need to be formalised in order to include a definite delivery schedule.
In February, Ford CEO Jim Farley stated that his business was working on agreements to secure the supply of essential battery raw materials such as lithium, nickel, rare earths, and copper.
"This is one of several agreements we're exploring to help Ford secure raw materials to support our aggressive EV acceleration plan," said Ford spokesperson Jennifer Flake.
Lake Resources, situated in Sydney, is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, which mandates that supply agreements be made public.
The Kachi project, located near the Chilean border in northern Argentina, is anticipated to cost $540 million and be completed by 2024.
For every tonne of lithium produced, Lilac's process consumes ten tonnes of water. Lilac has stated that it plans to employ a desalination facility to filter brackish water instead of potable water.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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