General Motors and Honda announced plans on April 5 to co-develop a series of affordable electric vehicles based on a new global architecture using GM's 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 companies will also 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 volumes of more than 13 million vehicles, according to the press release.
GM and Honda also 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 is already 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 working 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,” said Mary Barra, GM chair and CEO, in a statement. “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.”
Toshihiro Mibe, Honda president and CEO, added, that Honda is committed to reaching its goal of carbon neutrality globally by 2050, which requires driving down the cost of electric vehicles to make EV ownership possible for tmore customers. By collaborating on technology, Honda and GM expand sales of electric vehicles.
The scale and wide consumer reach of GM and Honda will provide the low cost production and battery foundation needed for a new series of more affordable vehicles for customers, said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of 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,” he said.
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 co-develop 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.