Speech by Mr. Takanobu Ito President and CEO, Honda Motor Co.
GENEVA – March 4, 2010: Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am very pleased to join you today at the Geneva Motorshow. I would like to talk about Honda’s vision of the future, by linking it to our past.
Honda began life more than 60 years ago as a maker of motorcycles. But we weren’t strictly a motorcycle company. In the post-war era, the people of Japan needed basic mobility. And the first product Soichiro Honda created was a bicycle equipped with a small engine.
From that humble beginning, we now offer many different products to meet the needs of our customers: cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, marine engines.
One of our smallest creations is the U3-X, the omni-directional electric monocycle you have just seen. And the largest one is also our fastest, the HondaJet.
While the products have changed, our fundamental goal as a company has remained the same for the last 60 years and beyond. We will continue to supply mobility products that offer our customers fun and convenience. And to achieve this, we must create mobility that also meets society’s green needs with a dramatic reduction of CO2 emissions.
FCX Clarity and SHS
On your right is the car of the future made today. FCX Clarity runs on electricity generated onboard by the reaction of hydrogen in the tank and oxygen in the air. It emits only water, and has a driving range of 460 kilometres. We believe that fuel cell electric vehicles are the ultimate solution to reduce CO2 emissions. We welcome the question – “Where will you get the Hydrogen?” In fact, Honda is leading the way in developing new technologies for hydrogen refuelling.
Recently, we developed a very compact solar hydrogen station. By creating a new high differential pressure electrolyser, Honda engineers were able to completely eliminate the compressor. This new system is 25 % more efficient, and is compact enough to be used in the home. So, my answer to the question is, “why not produce hydrogen in your home?”
3R-C and EV-N
On your left are two Honda design studies for zero-emission city commuter cars. Congested city traffic is one of the leading causes of vehicle emissions. We must make city transport cleaner. EV-N is a design study of the smallest city car that is capable of accommodating four people. 3R-C is another design study for city commuters with three wheels for one driver. Both are intended to be driven by electric motors.
In the days ahead, we will further expand our hybrid line-up. Hybrid is the most important and effective technology to cut CO2 emissions today. The Jazz hybrid will be introduced in Europe early next year. So, with Civic Hybrid, Insight, the new sporty CR-Z, and soon Jazz Hybrid, Honda aims to maximise the fuel efficiency of mobility today while we work towards the goal of zero-emission mobility for tomorrow.
And now, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the latest hybrid model from Honda – CR-Z. This unique car combines a hybrid system with a 6-speed manual transmission, in a dynamic coupé styling. It is for people who seek new values in a car. For people who want fun-to-drive spirit and lower CO2 emissions.
In the late 80s, I was in charge of body development for the Honda NSX, the world’s first all aluminium, mass production sports car. Our challenge was to build a car with all-aluminium construction to improve both efficiency and dynamics. With the CR-Z, the challenge of our engineers was still to create a car with great dynamics and fuel efficiency.
CR-Z is a new kind of hybrid. Of course, it is a hybrid car that uses petrol and electricity. But more than that, it is a hybrid of a sporty car and an eco car. Given the different driving characteristics offered by the 3-mode drive system, once you are behind the wheel, you can choose sporty driving or eco driving at your will.
I am proud to present to you the CR-Z, a new hybrid that offers both fun and fuel efficiency in one dynamic package!
Thank you for your attention.