Honda and General Motors will expand their electric car collaboration to launch a new line of vehicles in North America in 2027. These vehicles will be built on GM’s Ultium battery technology and share a new global platform.
On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at the Design Dome on the GM Tech Center site in Warren, Michigan, General Motors unveils Ultium, an all-new modular platform and battery system.
The automakers have hinted that at least one of the next EVs will be a compact crossover, which is unsurprising considering the segment’s popularity. They intend to develop automobiles based on this new platform worldwide. Companies hope to achieve greater economies of scale by using standardized assembly equipment and processes, resulting in lower costs.
“GM and Honda will share our best technology, design, and manufacturing strategies to deliver affordable and desirable EVs globally, including our key markets in North America, South America, and China,” said Mary Barra, GM chair and CEO.
This isn’t the first time Honda and GM have worked together, and it doesn’t appear to be the last. The two companies are also talking about working on electric vehicle batteries. According to their announcement, this will “further drive down the cost of electrification.”
Both businesses are working on solid-state battery development. Honda is creating a demonstration assembly line for them in Japan, intending to allow mass manufacturing in the future. GM is also developing lithium-metal and silicon-based batteries.
According to GM’s press statement, the firms agreed to share technology, design, and sourcing strategies and work toward “standardizing equipment and processes to achieve world-class quality, higher throughput, and greater affordability.” The firms will also talk about collaborating on electric vehicle batteries to reduce costs and increase performance and sustainability.
The word “affordable” appears several times in the press release, as both firms underline the goal of producing EVs that are less expensive than those currently on the market. Toshihiro Mibe, Honda’s president and CEO, said, “Honda and GM will build on our successful technical collaboration to achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of electric vehicles.”
The partnership makes a lot of sense, especially for Honda, which has lagged well behind its competitors in terms of electric vehicle research. By collaborating with GM, it will be able to share development costs and provide its extensive BEV and hybrid experience.
In 2018, the two automakers established a partnership to develop autonomous vehicles, with Honda purchasing a stake in GM’s Cruise self-driving subsidiary. In addition, the companies have teamed up on hydrogen fuel cells.
Honda had previously stated that it would construct an electric crossover based on GM’s Ultium platform and batteries. The model is called Prologue by the business, and it will be available in early 2024. This vehicle will also be available in a premium Acura variant.
General Motors will purportedly produce these models. The Honda-branded car will be manufactured at the automaker’s plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, producing the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox. The Acura is expected to arrive from Tennessee.
Honda is also a partner in GM’s Cruise Automation initiative, working on large-scale autonomous car deployment. As of 2018, the Japanese manufacturer had committed to a total investment of $2 billion over the next 12 years and a $750-million equity commitment.