Honda won’t release EV in Australia, citing “very, very low” demand

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Honda says there are no plans to bring Urban EV to Australia, because the Japanese car maker is “not willing to risk” the lagging, Down Under market.

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Director of Honda Australia Stephen Collins has said that the Japanese carmaker has no plans to bring its Urban EV concept car to Australia.

The ‘retro’ all electric vehicle was first revealed at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, is not quite as big as the carmaker’s Jazz hatchback and has divided opinions over the funky, boxy design of the EV hatchback.

Still, the Japanese company has announced it will start producing the Urban EV with a view to sales starting next year. But not in Australia, as it turns out.

Why? Because, as Collins told Go Auto, in Australia, the ‘low’ demand for EVs warrants a ‘conservative approach’.

“We’re working on our whole electric vehicle (EV) strategy, not just that particular car,” he said.

“We’re taking a more conservative approach, mainly because the underlying demand [for EVs in Australia] is still very, very low.”

The reasons cited to Go Auto include low registrations numbers of EVs against internal combustion engine cars – and the fact that financially, the carmaker is ‘not willing to take a risk’.

With a distinct lack of government policy to encourage increased uptake of EVs in this country, this is  not surprising, although other brands such as Hyundai, Nissan, Kia, and Renault are launching EV vehicles here over the next 12 months.

Hyundai are due to launch the Ioniq EV in Australia next month, and all reports indicate that globally, the EV market is really gathering speed – so what is stopping Honda?

Honda has tried selling hybrids here in the past. “Five or six years ago we had a whole suite of hybrids, and to be honest, we didn’t get a lot of traction with them – mainly because the underlying consumer demand was very small,” Collins told Car Advice.

Originally posted on our electric vehicle web-site The Driven. To read the full story, click here. Sign up for the regular free EV newsletter here
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