Honda will tune the scalable General Motors EV platform and Ultium batteries to suit its needs.
General Motors will help Honda develop its next two electric vehicles, due in North Amercian dealers by the 2024 model year. The Honda EVs will make use of GM’s proprietary Ultium battery technology and modular electric vehicle platform, although the Japanese automaker will engineer the architecture to suit consumer expectations and design priorities.
GM Ultium batteries, which were announced early last month, use proprietary low-cobalt chemistry, and the cells are stackable, either vertically or horizontally, to optimize energy storage for a variety of different vehicle types. Ultium power will make its way into the company’s scalable electric vehicle platform, which will underpin vehicles as diverse as the Cruise Origin self-driving car, Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV, and future electric GM work trucks. The platform will allow for front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive, further improving flexibility.
Honda, however, will provide engineering input on the platform before it makes its way into the automaker’s vehicles. Furthermore, interior and exterior design work on the EVs will be all-Honda, ensuring they have a look and feel consistent with the brand’s other products. Both new electric vehicles will be built at GM’s North American manufacturing facilities.
The announcement makes good sense for both auto companies. The joint agreement allows GM to defray battery and platform development costs across even more vehicle lines, and assembling Honda vehicles in GM plants will streamline production. Honda, meanwhile, will be able to speed up the introduction of its own long-distance EVs, and both companies benefit from an expanded economy of scale.
It’s also not the first time the two auto giants have teamed up on advanced technology. Honda and GM have collaborated on fuel-cell development before, and both companies contributed significantly to the Cruise Origin’s autonomous driving technology. Going back even further, a Honda-built V6 made its way into the GM-engineered Saturn Vue starting in 2004.
General Motors and Honda to Jointly Develop Next-Generation Honda Electric Vehicles Powered by GM’s Ultium Batteries
- Builds on GM’s proven advanced technology relationship with Honda
- Honda will develop unique interior and exterior designs for Honda customers
- EVs will be produced on GM’s flexible global EV platform to increase scale and capacity utilization
General Motors and Honda have agreed to jointly develop two all-new electric vehicles for Honda, based on GM’s highly flexible global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries. The exteriors and interiors of the new EVs will be exclusively designed by Honda, and the platform will be engineered to support Honda’s driving character.
Production of these Honda electric vehicles will combine the development expertise of both companies, and they will be manufactured at GM plants in North America. Sales are expected to begin in the 2024 model year in Honda’s United States and Canadian markets.
GM and Honda have an ongoing relationship around electrification. This includes work on fuel cells and the Cruise Origin, an electric, self-driving and shared vehicle, which was revealed in San Francisco earlier this year. Honda also joined GM’s battery module development efforts in 2018.
"This collaboration will put together the strength of both companies, while combined scale and manufacturing efficiencies will ultimately provide greater value to customers," said Rick Schostek, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This expanded partnership will unlock economies of scale to accelerate our electrification roadmap and advance our industry-leading efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
"We are in discussions with one another regarding the possibility of further extending our partnership," Schostek said.
According to Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, "This agreement builds on our proven relationship with Honda, and further validates the technical advancements and capabilities of our Ultium batteries and our all-new EV platform.
"Importantly, it is another step on our journey to an all-electric future and delivering a profitable EV business through increased scale and capacity utilization. We have a terrific history of working closely with Honda, and this new collaboration builds on our relationship and like-minded objectives."
As part of the agreement to jointly develop electric vehicles, Honda will incorporate GM’s OnStar safety and security services into the two EVs, seamlessly integrating them with HondaLink. Additionally, Honda plans to make GM’s hands-free advanced driver-assist technology available.
General Motors (NYSE: GM) is a global company committed to delivering safer, better and more sustainable ways for people to get around. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Holden, Baojun, and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, and Maven, its personal mobility brand, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC), Honda designs, manufactures and markets automobiles, motorcycles, power products and aviation products worldwide. A global leader in powertrain and electromotive technologies, Honda produces nearly 28 million engines annually for its three product lines. Honda and its partners build products in more than 60 manufacturing plants in 27 countries, employing more than 208,000 associates globally.
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