TOKYO — Honda Motor Co., which will phase out internal combustion products by 2040, has now unveiled plans to reinvent the company in business areas that are truly out of this world.
Under a road map unveiled last week, the automaker said it will branch into electric air mobility vehicles, avatar robots and even reusable rockets to launch satellites into space.
Topping the list of new directions, which will be handled by Honda R&D, is electric vertical take-off and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft. It is a sector increasingly being explored by rival automakers, including South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group.
But with Honda, it parlays nicely with the company's long-standing jet business.
To overcome the limitations of short-range battery-powered flight, Honda will equip its eVTOL aircraft with a gas turbine hybrid power unit. Honda wants to conduct a test flight in 2024 and decide on the viability of the business by 2025. If it gets the green light, the goal is to go commercial by 2030.