General Motors and Honda to Codevelop Future EVs

Honda and General Motors announced a new partnership, aimed at co-developing future, affordable electric vehicles. The collaboration will leverage GM’s Ultium battery technology and targets more affordable electric crossovers.

Both GM and Honda have pledged to reduce carbon emissions

The new GMC Hummer EV and its Ultium battery pack parked on the street in Michigan.
GMC Ultium Battery |JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

General Motors has committed to achieving “carbon neutrality” in both its products and global operations by 2040. It has also promised to eliminate tailpipe emissions for its light-duty vehicles by 2035.

But the company will have a difficult time eliminating all tailpipe emissions if its customers can’t afford to buy an EV. In a recent press release, GM CEO Mary Barra calls GM’s collaboration with Honda a “key step” in the process of building affordable EVs to combat climate change.

Honda has set 2050 as its target date to achieve carbon neutrality. Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe recognizes that achieving this requires, “driving down the cost of electric vehicles to make EV ownership possible for the greatest number of customers.”

Therefore, General Motors and Honda will collaborate on several new products in an effort to offer more affordable EVs.

Honda and General Motors are aiming for affordable EVs, together

A worker walking into the Honda factory.
Honda factory | Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Perhaps you’ve been eying the latest plug-in hybrid or full EV from General Motors or from Honda. Or maybe you haven’t considered making the switch. Either way, you have to admit electric vehicles are still very expensive.

If you want a modest four-door sedan from Tesla, you can pay as much as some supercars. Despite the longevity and performance offered by EVs, the high starting price is a non-starter for many car owners. But Honda and General Motors are trying to fix that.

General Motors made it clear they hope the partnership makes EVs more cost-effective:

“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.”

 Doug Parks, GM executive vice president

GM specifically name-dropped the compact crossover vehicle segment.

How will Honda and GM reduce costs? They plan on combining some technology, design, and sourcing of parts.

This is not Honda and General Motors’ first collaboration

GM corporate sign with a Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid parked in the background.
Chevrolet Volt | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Honda and General Motors first teamed up back in 2013. That joint venture explored hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen storage technologies.

Though the 2013 venture did not lead to any GM or Honda cars, the companies obviously worked well together, because in 2018 they joined forces again. GM had been working on the battery platform that would become Ultium, and Honda joined in to help with the research.

In 2020, the companies specified that they would be co-developing two EVs. The first product of the latest joint venture will be the 2024 Honda Prologue. The second will be the first ever Acura EV SUV. We’ll have to see if we get GM versions of either.

Honda pointed out that a previous collaboration proves a partnership with GM is an excellent way to serve Honda customers:

“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.”

Shinji Aoyama, Honda senior managing executive officer

So what will this latest partnership bring? Honda and GM are targeting “global production of millions of EVs.” When? 2027.

GM and Honda are also leveraging GM’s industry-leading Super Cruise technology into the Cruise Origin. No, it’s not a spaceship. It is a fully autonomous vehicle purpose-built for the ride-hail and delivery industries.

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