Honda and General Motors will build EVs together
In the increasingly competitive EV markets, Honda has been one of the few traditional big automakers to have eschewed collaborations and gone its own way. However, it has now deemed the time to be right for a change in strategy. Enter General Motors. Honda, along with GM, has announced its plans to start making electric vehicles together. This would entail platform sharing, research and development, technology transfers and even shared production. Let’s take a look at what the two giants have agreed to.
The most important and tangible result of the partnership is perhaps the development of a new global EV architecture that will be powered by GM’s Ultium battery technology, which uses a pouch design instead of the traditional cell design that all other automakers use. This promises more efficiency and packaging benefits. Both manufacturers will use the new platform and build their cars on top of that. The aim is to build affordable EVs that will be sold in mass volumes. For now, two affordable EVs have been planned. The first one is called the Honda Prologue, which will be an EV SUV and launch in 2024, followed by an Acura model which will be its first EV SUV.
Honda has already targeted 2050 as the year it intends to reach net-zero carbon emissions, while GM has targeted 2040, and this announcement is a big part towards that goal. Honda and GM will jointly research battery developments, such as solid-state batteries. The commitment of the two companies can be gauged from the fact that the new EVs will be built by GM at their plant in the US. Even the Honda models will be built at the same factory. Honda will also incorporate GM’s OnStar driver-assist system, a widely accepted industry standard that some say is on par with the Stellantis system, into its own Honda link system.
Honda is making big moves in order to recover from the slow start it has had in the EV era. Its first EV, the Honda E, did not perform as expected, as its price was too high for the specifications it offered. The company partnered with Sony recently to build cars as the electronics giant aims to enter the automobile industry. This new announcement with GM will strengthen Honda’s hand, as well as give GM input into the design and production processes that Honda is so well known for. All that’s left to see now is if they will succeed.