Why Honda’s Partnership with GM Could Go up in Flames

Are Honda’s electric vehicles doomed before they are even released? Honda has entrusted GM to help the Japanese automaker build electric Honda and Acura crossover vehicles. General Motors successfully launched the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle in 2016. Today the Chevy Bolt is the most problematic EV on the market. What does this mean for Honda’s new EVs?

Honda’s GM deal suddenly doesn’t seem so wise

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV Electric Car
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV | Chevrolet

Honda’s deal with General Motors to collaboratively produce electric vehicles was a good idea at first. Honda has not successfully mass-produced a popular electric vehicle yet. GM’s Chevrolet Bolt was one of the most popular vehicles in America after its debut. Partnering with GM seemed like a good move because it is the more experienced automaker in electric vehicle production. GM’s recent recalls have changed everything.

GM has issued several Chevrolet Bolt recalls this year. When Chevy Bolt models are plugged in and charging, their battery packs can catch on fire. This has happened to many consumers, and GM has issued recall after recall to no avail. The Chevy Bolt’s reputation continued to take hits, as well as the reputation of General Motors as a producer of electric vehicles.

General Motors still has more experience producing and selling electric vehicle units, but does that mean anything if the company must recall close to 69,000 units? Honda was looking to GM for guidance and assistance, but now GM doesn’t appear to be the most credible source for EV production advice.

Honda’s major EV problem

A red 2021 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell driving on a highway with an urban city in the background
The 2021 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell model | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda is one of the best automakers in the automotive industry. It has produced the popular Honda Civic and Honda Accord when sedans were the most popular American vehicle class. Its SUV, the Honda CR-V, has become one of the most popular SUVs at the height of SUV popularity. Honda was always an automotive industry leader until the rise of electric vehicles.

Honda tried to electrify its lineup with the Honda Clarity, but it was ultimately unsuccessful. Honda’s lineup has something for everyone. The Honda Civic and Honda Accord have peppy powertrain options and decent gas mileage. Honda’s CR-V is an amazing all-around SUV. The Honda Odyssey is perfect for families. Honda even has a decent truck in the Honda Ridgeline. All the automaker needs to continue selling major units, and having prosperous quarters is a great EV to serve as the foundation for its future. Enter the Honda Prologue electric SUV.

Honda plans to produce a battery-electric SUV in 2024. A successful EV is necessary for the company’s future in the automotive industry. The Honda Prologue BEV is meant to usher Honda into a new age and stake its claim as a top competitor in the electric future.

If Honda is depending on GM to lend the helping hand it needs to get with the times, the company is in for a rude awakening. GM will spend $1 billion on Chevrolet Bolt battery module replacements because they are a fire hazard. Did Honda lose its last chance to catch up in the great EV race and stay relevant in the future of the automotive industry?

Is Honda’s newest EV doomed?

A white Honda logo with Honda written underneath on a red background.
Honda logo | Getty Images

Honda is still one of the best-selling automotive brands in the industry. However, the future of automobiles in the next decade is electric. The Biden administration is pushing for 50% of new vehicles to be electric by 2030.

With only nine years left, Honda has yet to produce even one successful electric vehicle. If the Honda Prologue BEV flops, it could spell disaster for the company. According to Car and Driver, the new Honda and Acura crossover EVs will use GM’s Ultium battery platform. Will GM perfect its EV production process by the time it works on Honda’s vehicles, or will Honda’s future go up in smoke when it desperately needs a win?

RELATED: General Motors Partners With Honda to Build Two Electric Vehicles by 2024