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At this year's CES, Honda unveiled a small electric mini vehicle concept (Photo: Honda)

Honda Motor and Hitachi Automotive Systems plan to jointly develop electric motors in a joint venture they plan to establish by July of this year.

A name for the venture hasn't yet been decided. Hitachi will be the majority owner with a 51 pc stake.

The move underlines Honda's commitment to electric vehicles (EVs) as expectations grow for a fast expansion of the market in coming years.

China is widely seen as the EV market with the highest medium-term potential, but Honda also sees growth opportunities in other parts of the world.

"Half of the all-new models Honda will launch in the United States in the coming two years will be electrified vehicles,"  Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said in a recent press release. "In the long term, electrified vehicles are key to the future of carbon-free mobility."

Honda has set a global target for two-thirds of all sales to come from electrified models by 2030. It also wants to halve its total company CO2 emissions from 2000 levels by 2050.

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

The new company won't be the exclusive supplier of electric motors to Honda, the two companies said. Hitachi will continue to supply electric motors to other companies, while Honda will continue to use motors it manufactures itself.

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 car information systems.