On Tuesday, General Motors and Honda announced that the two companies are working together on a new line of affordable electric vehicles. The two OEMs will develop a new architecture utilizing GM’s new Ultium battery platform for North America, South America and China. Production of the first vehicles from both manufacturers is scheduled to begin in 2027.
Honda and GM have been growing closer together for some time. In 2017, they formed a joint venture to mass-produce hydrogen fuel cells, and the following year merged via Cruise on autonomous driving technology and next-generation battery development.
In 2020, the two companies announced that Honda would be developing two new electric vehicles 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 comes on top of those plans.
“The progress we’ve made with GM since we announced our EV battery development collaboration in 2018, followed by the co-development of electric vehicles, including the Honda Prologue, has demonstrated the win-win relationship that create new value for our customers,” said Shinji Aoyama, chief operating officer of Honda. “This new range of affordable electric vehicles builds on that relationship by leveraging our strength in the design and manufacture of high quality compact 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 affordability is achieved through scale and combined purchasing and design.
The partnership is still in its infancy, five years before the first cars find customers, it is still too early for both companies to give details about exact production numbers.
Honda has said it wants to “develop a range of high-quality, high-volume electric vehicles in the most popular segments” and that price parity with its internal combustion engine offerings is the goal.
GM is a little less secretive, having unveiled a US-market EV that will be a crossover smaller and cheaper than next year’s $30,000 Equinox EV. “Our collaboration with Honda and the continued development of Ultium is the foundation of this project, leveraging our global reach to create a more cost-effective foundation for this new line of electric vehicles for millions of customers,” said Doug Parks, executive vice president, Global by GM Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.
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