Honda stopped selling its EV Plus electric car a decade ago and remains deeply skeptical about demand for electric vehicles -- even as rivals such as Nissan and Mitsubishi dive in enthusiastically.
"We lack confidence" in the electric-vehicle business, Honda R&D President Tomohiko Kawanabe told Bloomberg last week. "It's questionable whether consumers will accept the annoyances of limited driving range and having to spend time charging them."
The skepticism contrasts with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn's belief that the vehicles will make up 10 percent of the global car market by 2020.
While Honda plans to sell electric cars in the United States to help meet California emissions rules, the company is focusing on expanding its lineup of gasoline-electric hybrid models and improving its gasoline engines.
"We are definitely conducting research on electric cars," Kawanabe said, "but I can't say I can wholeheartedly recommend them."