Honda Motor Co. launched sales of its first full electric vehicle, the compact VE-1 crossover in China, with starting prices of 159,800 yuan ($22,635) to 179,800 yuan, after government subsidies.
The crossover is assembled at Honda’s joint venture with GAC Motor Co. It has a range of 401 kilometers on one charge and is aimed at young urban commuters.
Buyers receive a basic warranty of three years or 100,000 kilometers and a warranty of eight years or 150,000 km for key powertrain components such as batteries, electric motors and control units.
Honda is one of the few global brands that is bucking China’s prolonged market downturn.
In September, Honda’s China sales rose 4 percent to 138,056. In the first three quarters, the Japanese brand’s local deliveries advanced 16 percent to 1.12 million.
The Chinese government is pushing light-vehicle makers to expand output of electrified vehicles with a carbon credit program. Under the program, only EVs, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles earn carbon credits.
In addition to GAC, Honda also produces and markets vehicles with Dongfeng Motor Group in China.
Given its largest production volume in China, Honda needs to build more EVs or plug-in hybrids locally to meet requirements of the carbon credit program.