Honda has announced plans to ensure its entire range of European models are electrified by 2025, though it will still make hybrids.
It also plans to launch an energy management company. The carmaker has struck agreements with charging companies and smart grid platforms in a bid to unlock smart charging and vehicle-to-grid opportunities, where cars can essentially be aggregated into virtual power plants.
Announced at the Geneva motor show, the move is another significant indication of the convergence of energy and transport. It serves as another warning to traditional utilities that the game is rapidly changing: Honda is not the only carmaker getting into the energy business.
In January Volkswagen announced the launch of its own energy company, Elli. The world’s largest carmaker, which has committed to invest €30bn on EVs over the next five years, said energy supply was “strategically relevant” to its business.
Nissan is also considering launching an energy company and is bullish on the prospects of vehicle to grid services. It is likely that other carmakers will follow suit.
Honda will work with Moixa on smart charging and vehicle to grid services. The company’s Gridshare platform aggregates lots of small loads, such as home energy storage systems and EV batteries. Moixa claims its technology uses artificial intelligence to learn consumption patterns and optimise batteries. The company, which counts Tepco as an investor, last year signed a strategic partnership with Itochu Corporation to take its Gridshare platform to Japan.
Honda has also struck a partnership with Ubitricity, a charging firm that has developed technology enabling chargers to be installed more easily on streets – such as on walls or lampposts.
“This is a significant move for Honda, our intention is to deliver industry-leading innovation by launching energy services…to create additional value for power system operators and EV customers alike,” said Tom Gardner, senior vice president, Honda Motor Europe.
Moixa founder and chief executive, Simon Daniel said: “We are delighted to support Honda’s ambitious plans for total electrification of new car sales in Europe. Our technology will be able to manage millions of EV batteries, maximising savings for customers and using spare capacity to support a low-carbon electricity grid.”
Chief technology officer, Chris Wright added: “Moixa’s GridShare software ensures cars are charged in the most cost-effective way to save money, it can use their batteries to power a home when energy costs are high, and it can aggregate spare capacity in a virtual power plant to provide a range of services that help balance supply and demand.”
Article amended to make clear Honda will still make hybrids