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Hitachi and Honda to collaborate for manufacture of EV motors

Hitachi and Honda to collaborate for manufacture of EV motors

Honda and Hitachi are not the only companies that formed joint ventures amid pressures from regulators for developing cleaner cars.

The two companies made the announcement today in a press release (read below) that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding last week.

Both companies stated that the venture is going to be established in July with an investment of 5 billion yen ($44.69 million) Hitachi Automotive Systems will own 51% and 49% held by Honda (HMC). The companies expect a definitive agreement establishing the new company to be signed by the end of March. The new company will also sell it motors to other automakers other than Honda if there is demand for them. It does not now market a battery-electric vehicle after discontinuing a limited production electric version of its Fit mini MPV model in 2014. Currently, Honda has three different hybrid systems in use, requiring a variety of different motors, some providing just a minor boost, others delivering high levels of performance, as with the three-motor system used on the Acura NSX supercar.

The Japan-based joint venture will have subsidiaries in the U.S. and China, where the company plans to both manufacture and sell products.

This project will also see some mass production of motors at Hitachi's automotive plant in Kentucky and in China as well. The company now supplies electric motors to Nissan Motor Co., Toyota and General Motors.

Honda is planning to launch battery-powered and plug-in petrol hybrid versions of its Clarity fuel-cell vehicle later this year.

Hitachi Automotive Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hitachi conglomerate, makes a wide range of automotive components and systems, including electric powertrains, drive control systems and vehicle information systems. Automakers are teaming with parts suppliers to expand their business and maintain the costs of development.

The new company will produce electric motors for a wide range of different drivetrains, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric models. It doesn't at present market a battery-electric vehicle in the wake of stopping a restricted generation electric variant of its Fit mini MPV demonstrates in 2014.

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