Kurt Verlin
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Honda Prologue is the Automaker’s First All-Electric SUV

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Honda Level 2 EVSE
Photo: Honda

Honda will launch its first all-electric SUV in 2024, called the Prologue. It’s an apt name for a vehicle meant to mark the start of the automaker’s earnest advance toward a zero-emission future.

Besides the name and Honda’s initial sales target of 70,000 units, there’s not much we actually know about the Prologue — outside of its General Motors-developed powertrain. Yes, the first all-electric Honda SUV will only be a Honda insofar as the exterior and interior are concerned. GM will provide the same Ultium batteries used in its own future EVs (such as the Lyriq), and the Prologue will also ride on GM’s next-gen e-Architecture vehicle platform.

Emission Goals: Honda will sell only electric cars by 2040

If Honda’s electrification story starts with the Prologue, we expect Chapter 1 to be quite meaty. Its 70,000 annual vehicle sales target, while reasonable, is a long way off the automaker’s goal to sell 500,000 BEVs by 2030. Honda also aims to achieve 40 percent zero emission vehicle sales by 2030, 100 percent zero emission vehicle sales by 2040 in North America, and total carbon neutrality across all operations by 2050.

Despite all of this, Honda wasted no time expressing a caveat. “As with other automakers, Honda’s initial zero emission vehicle sales goals…are contingent upon fair and equitable access to state and federal EV incentives,” the company stated in the press release covering the new Prologue — a reference to the Biden administration’s proposed EV tax credit that would benefit EV vehicles built by unionized labor, which thus excludes Honda.

Honda also does not anticipate rolling out the Prologue nationwide at launch, instead limiting it to BEV-friendly markets including California, Texas, and Florida. The automaker believes “these regions will represent the bulk of sales at the onset of launch due to higher customer acceptance and regulatory requirements.”

“As EV infrastructure expands and customer interest grows nationwide, the company will rapidly expand sales and marketing efforts to other areas of the country.”

As slow as this ramp-up seems to be, Honda will no doubt have no issues selling hundreds of thousands of EVs the moment it decides to make its popular CR-V SUV an electric-only model.