General Motors Co. in Detroit and Honda Motor Co. in Tokyo today announced plans to expand their relationship to a new chapter by codeveloping a series of affordable electric vehicles based on a new global architecture using next-generation Ultium battery technology.
The companies are working together to enable global production of millions of EVs starting in 2027, including compact crossover vehicles, leveraging the two companies’ technology, design, and sourcing strategies.
The automakers also will work toward standardizing equipment and processes to achieve world-class quality, higher throughput, and greater affordability. The compact crossover segment is the largest in the world, with annual volume of more than 13 million vehicles.
In addition, GM and Honda will discuss future EV battery technology collaboration opportunities to further drive down the cost of electrification, improve performance, and drive sustainability for future vehicles.
GM currently 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 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.
“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,” says Mary Barra, chair and CEO of GM.
“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.”
GM and Honda have developed a close working relationship over many years, including several projects in recent years focused on electric and autonomous vehicle technologies. In 2013, the two companies began working together on the co-development of a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage 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.
Further, the companies 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.
“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,” says Toshihiro Mibe, president and CEO of Honda. “Honda and GM will build on our successful technology collaboration to help achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of electric vehicles.”
Shinji Aoyama, senior managing executive officer of Honda, adds: “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. 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.”
As part of the new partnership, the continuing development of Ultium will enable a lower cost foundation for this new series of EVs for millions of customers, says Doug Parks, executive vice president, global product development, purchasing, and supply chain at GM.
“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,” Parks adds.