General Motors (GM) and Honda today announced plans to co-develop a series of affordable electric vehicles (EVs). The companies are working together to enable the global production of millions of electric vehicles starting in 2027.
This is great news for helping with the adoption of electric cars. Hopefully, this will make zero-emissions vehicles available to a mass audience and massively increase electric vehicle use around the globe.
It goes to show that collaborations are important and a smart way of driving the adoption of electric vehicles. Only recently, Ford and Volkswagen announced they were working together and Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi formed an alliance to invest €23 billion ( £19.17 billion/$30.28 billion) over the next five years to support its electrification strategy.
The new zero-emissions vehicles being created between GM and Honda will be based on a new global architecture using next-generation Ultium battery technology. The line-up will include compact crossover vehicles, using the two companies’ technology, design and sourcing strategies.
The companies will also work towards standardising equipment and processes to achieve 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.
GM and Honda, who recently cut ties with Formula One to concentrate on electric car development, will also discuss future electric vehicle battery technology collaboration opportunities. This will further drive down the cost of electrification, improve performance and drive sustainability for future vehicles.
GM, which already announced it aims to produce 30 electric vehicles by 2025, 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 electric vehicles. Honda has established a demonstration line in Japan for all-solid-state batteries and is making further progress toward mass production.
Mary Barra, GM CEO, said: “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.
“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 US 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, said: “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.
“Honda and GM will build on our successful technology collaboration to help achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of electric vehicles.”
Shinji Aoyama, Honda senior managing executive officer, said: “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.”
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.
Both 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.
Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, said: “Our collaboration with Honda and the continuing development of Ultium are the foundation of this project, utilising our global scale to enable a lower cost foundation for this new series of EVs for millions of customers.
“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.”