GM and Honda get closer —
The EVs will use Ultium batteries and include a sub-$30,000 EV for North America.
On Tuesday, General Motors and Honda announced that the two companies are working together on a new range of affordable electric vehicles. The two manufacturers will develop a new architecture that uses GM’s new Ultium battery platform for North America, South America, and China. Production of the first vehicles by both companies should begin in 2027.
Honda and GM have been growing closer for some time. In 2017, they set up a joint venture to mass-produce hydrogen fuel cells, then the following year partnered on autonomous driving technology through Cruise as well as on next-generation battery development.
In 2020 the two companies announced that Honda would design two new EVs for North America using GM’s Ultium batteries. Those two EVs are still in development, as is Honda’s EV collaboration with Sony—this announcement is in addition to those plans.
“The progress we have made with GM since we announced the EV battery development collaboration in 2018, followed by co-development of electric vehicles including the Honda Prologue, has demonstrated the win-win relationship that can create new value for our customers,” said Shinji Aoyama, Honda senior managing executive officer. “This new series of affordable EVs will build on this relationship by leveraging our strength in the development and production of high quality, compact class vehicles.”
GM and Honda want to design a new flexible architecture (like Volkswagen Group’s MEB), specifically for affordable cars like compact crossovers. But both say that affordability will come through scale and combined purchasing as well as design.
The partnership is in its early days, with five years before the first cars find customers, so it’s too soon for either company to get into specifics about exact production numbers.
Honda did say that it wants to “develop a series of EVs in the most popular segments at great quality and high volume” and that price parity with its internal-combustion engine offerings is the target.
GM is being slightly less tight-lipped, as it has revealed a US-market EV that will be a crossover that’s smaller and cheaper than next year’s $30,000 Equinox EV. “Our collaboration with Honda and the continuing development of Ultium are the foundation of this project, utilizing our global scale to enable a lower cost foundation for this new series of EVs for millions of customers,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.
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