Honda and GM are on a mission to bring affordable electric vehicles to the masses. And they plan to get it done, together. The automakers say they're working together to enable global production of millions of EVs starting in 2027 leveraging the two companies’ technology, design and sourcing strategies. To that end, the two automakers recently announced they'll codevelop a new series of ''affordable' electric vehicles based on a new global architecture using GM's next-generation Ultium battery technology. The automakers say the new vehicle series will target the most popular segments, with an emphasis on compact crossovers, the largest vehicle segment in the world, with annual volumes of more than 13 million vehicles.
As part of their expanded partnership, Honda and GM also plan to work toward standardizing equipment and processes to achieve world-class quality, higher throughput and greater affordability.
“GM and Honda will share our best technology, design and manufacturing strategies to deliver affordable and desirable EVs on a global scale, including our key markets in North America, South America and China,” said Mary Barra, GM chair and CEO. “This is a key step to deliver on our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality in our global products and operations by 2040 and eliminate tailpipe emissions from light duty vehicles in the U.S. by 2035. By working together, we’ll put people all over the world into EVs faster than either company could achieve on its own.”
As part of plans to help drive down the costs of EVs to make them more accessible, GM and Honda say they also plan to discuss future ways to collaborate on EV battery technology to further drive down the cost of electrification, improve performance and drive sustainability for future vehicles. Currently:
- GM is working to accelerate new technologies like lithium-metal, silicon and solid-state batteries, along with production methods that can quickly be used to improve and update battery cell manufacturing processes.
- Honda is making progress on its all-solid-state battery technology which the company says it sees as the core element of future EVs. Honda has established a demonstration line in Japan for all-solid-state batteries and is making further progress toward mass-production.
“Honda is committed to reaching our goal of carbon neutrality on a global basis by 2050, which requires driving down the cost of electric vehicles to make EV ownership possible for the greatest number of customers,” said Toshihiro Mibe, Honda president & CEO. “Honda and GM will build on our successful technology collaboration to help achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of electric vehicles.”
GM and Honda have a partnership that dates back years. In 2013, they began working together to codevelop a next-gen fuel cell system along with hydrogen storage technologies. Other projects in recent years focused on electric and autonomous vehicle technologies:
- In 2018, Honda joined GM’s EV battery module development efforts.
- In 2020, GM and Honda announced plans to codevelop two EVs, including the Honda Prologue, to be launched in early 2024, soon followed by Acura’s first EV SUV.
"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.”
“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. “Our plans include a new all-electric product for North America positioned at a price point lower than the upcoming Chevrolet Equinox EV, building on the 2 million units of EV capacity the company plans to install by the end of 2025.”
The companies also have an ongoing relationship with Cruise and are working together on the development of the Cruise Origin, one of the first purpose-built fully autonomous vehicles designed for driverless ride-hail and delivery.
Photo Credit: GM/Honda