GM Teams With Honda To Develop Next-Gen Advanced Battery

JUN 7 2018 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 53

It’s an unexpected partnership on battery development that we didn’t see coming.

But we welcome it for sure.

Just moments ago, General Motors and Honda jointly announced this:

“…an agreement for new advanced chemistry battery components, including the cell and module, to accelerate both companies’ plans for all-electric vehicles. The next-generation battery will deliver higher energy density, smaller packaging and faster charging capabilities for both companies’ future products, mainly for the North American market.”

What’s the goal of this partnership? Put quite simply, the target is to deliver a breakthrough battery that will be built by General Motors (long history of battery expertise) and sourced by Honda for future upcoming electric cars. Of course, it’s expected that GM electric offerings will make use of this soon-to-be-developed battery too.

By teaming up, the two automakers bring economy of scale, which should drive down costs.

Mark Reuss, General Motors Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, stated:

“This new, multiyear agreement with Honda further demonstrates General Motors’ capability to innovate toward a profitable electric portfolio. GM’s decades of electrification experience and strategic EV investments, alongside Honda’s commitment to advancing mobility, will result in better solutions for our customers and progress on our zero emissions vision.”

Takashi Sekiguchi, Chief Officer for Automobile Operations and Managing Officer of Honda, added:

“In addition to our ongoing joint development and production of fuel cells, this battery component collaboration will enable us to take a new step toward the realization of a sustainable society.”

Any speculation as to which future car will make use of this new battery tech first? Possibly that performance electric CUV from Chevrolet?

Press blast below:

Honda Partners on General Motors’ Next Gen Battery Development

June 7, 2018, Japan Corporate

Detroit and Tokyo — General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) announced an agreement for new advanced chemistry battery components, including the cell and module, to accelerate both companies’ plans for all-electric vehicles. The next-generation battery will deliver higher energy density, smaller packaging and faster charging capabilities for both companies’ future products, mainly for the North American market.

Under the agreement, the companies will collaborate based on GM’s next generation battery system with the intent for Honda to source the battery modules from GM. The collaboration will support each company’s respective and distinct vehicles. The combined scale and global manufacturing efficiencies will ultimately provide greater value to customers.

“This new, multiyear agreement with Honda further demonstrates General Motors’ capability to innovate toward a profitable electric portfolio,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “GM’s decades of electrification experience and strategic EV investments, alongside Honda’s commitment to advancing mobility, will result in better solutions for our customers and progress on our zero emissions vision.”

GM and Honda already have a proven relationship around electrification, having formed the industry’s first manufacturing joint venture to produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system in the 2020 timeframe. The integrated development teams are working to deliver a more affordable commercial solution for fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems.

“In addition to our ongoing joint development and production of fuel cells, this battery component collaboration will enable us to take a new step toward the realization of a sustainable society,” said Takashi Sekiguchi, Chief Officer for Automobile Operations and Managing Officer of Honda.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), its subsidiaries and joint venture entities produce and sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang and Wuling brands. GM has leadership positions in several of the world’s most significant automotive markets and is committed to lead the future of personal mobility. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, 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.

Categories: Battery Tech, Chevrolet, Honda

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53 Comments on "GM Teams With Honda To Develop Next-Gen Advanced Battery"

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CDAVIS

General Motors & Honda press release: “…an agreement for new advanced chemistry battery components… mainly for the North American market….”
————

That’s odd to be geographic centric for this type a joint technology development agreement unless what is meant is that the development collaboration is to take place mostly in North America but applied to global EV production & sales.

ffbj

Well GM has already exited Europe, and they probably don’t want to give advanced battery technology to China, by way of a Chinese partner. I mean just off the cuff that leaves N.A. Seems logical, and they will probably build the battery factory here. Of course planting seeds is one thing having something flower and fruit takes time.

Viking79

Exactly, GM JVs in China will probably use different chemistry.

Lawrence

Definitely wouldn’t want to produce things that valuable in a place that doesn’t recognize and respect intellectual property.

Lamata

Now all they need is a Charging Infrastructure.. That should be as easy as producing these New “Breakthrough” Batteries in Mass Quantities , As they Build a Functional EV that is Easy on the Eyes…. ..

EDR

Honda has 12 car and truck production plants in the US and has produced 25 million vehicles there. It makes sense to focus on the US market, especially in the background of the ongoing trade war. Who knows if other countries will allow import of US built batteries in the future ?

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Who knows if other countries will allow import of US built batteries in the future ?”

I seriously doubt that’s going to be a problem anywhere except China. One way or another, the Trumpster administration’s policy of unilaterally starting self-destructive trade wars won’t last long. And even China won’t be able to keep up its policy of keeping outsiders from selling cars in China, if they want to sell cars to the rest of the world, which they certainly will want to start doing before long.

esto perpetua

For those that have been asleep the last 20-30 years: The trade wars were started decades ago, by others. Trump is the first one to fight back.

Mark.ca

And by others you mean the big American corporations, right?

mx9000

Transportation cost for heavy batteries is not insignificant.

Optimist

Just moments ago, GM and Honda announced that GM’s advanced batteries will be sold to Honda.
It was referenced in the news that “battery comonents of electric cars, not battery components of electric batteries were discussed.
“Battery packs, typically the most expensive component of electric vehicles”

https://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKCN1J31S6-OCABS

scottf200

“…breakthrough battery that will be built by General Motors (long history of battery expertise)…” — what is confusing about this is then why are they getting their *EV car batteries from South Korean battery cell manufacturing firm LG Chem?

fotomoto

So Apple doesn’t have a long history in the smart phone industry either?

Ben S

I mean…Apple has a long history of making phones just like GM has a long history of making cars, but I wouldn’t call Apple a company with phone battery expertise, nor would I expect them to try to improve phone battery technology, except by pumping venture money into other companies.

fotomoto

Yet they make an incredible amount of money selling phones. Isn’t that the point?

wavelet

Actually, it doesn’t, in the least. It’s easy to forget given the rapid proliferation of cellular phones, but it’s been just 12 years for Apple. Motorola, Samsung & Nokia have been making them for 2x-3x as long.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_DynaTAC
https://www.phonearena.com/news/This-was-the-first-Samsung-cell-phone-ever_id63157
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_1011

Dave

But the battery cell is GM design, manufactured by LG… Isn’t this similar to Tesla cells, made by Panasonic?

Jeff

No, the knowledge is at LG Chem and at Panasonic. OEMs like GM or Tesla don’t get a standard cell you can order by the cell manufacturer, they get a custom design. So there is a cooperation about what the OEM need etc. That’s it.

But almost all big OEM have their own research lab to test the cells from different supplier and to research future cell designs (with next gen chemistry) to get more independent from cell suppliers in the future.

Pushmi-Pullyu

They’re not “Tesla cells”. They’re Panasonic cells made for Tesla, even if Panasonic stamps “TESLA” on the side of the battery.

LG Chem makes battery cells to GM’s specifications, just as Panasonic makes cells to Tesla’s specifications. In both cases, it’s a partnership. The odd wording of this announcement seems to suggest that GM will start making its own cells, or at least parts for cells.

An auto maker partnering with a battery cell maker makes perfect sense. That’s a win-win situation where each company specializes in its own operations. I’m not sure it makes sense for GM to make its own cells, which would have to include doing its own ongoing R&D into advanced battery chemistry.

But obviously GM is going to make its own decision about that.

Lamata

Tesla Owns the Lion’s Share of the Gigafactory…Tesla has Controlling Interest, Tesla Calls The Shots !

Pushmi-Pullyu

“…then why are they getting their *EV car batteries from South Korean battery cell manufacturing firm LG Chem?”

Because having the expertise to analyze battery cells doesn’t give a company the ability to make them in large quantities. LG Chem has the battery cell factories; GM does not, at least not yet. I can’t tell whether or not this agreement signals they plan to start making battery cells in-house, or merely parts for cells.

Neromanceres

And GM never will. GM doesn’t have factories that makes door handles. They have suppliers for that. It’s how the industry works. The OEM’s design the parts and the Tier 1’s make it to their specifications.

Lamata

Hence “OEM” Original Equipment Manufacturers …When these are made “In House” The “House” Keeps all the Profits..Not all the different suppliers…Tesla Makes Lots of parts “In House” ….Just One* of Main Reasons That “Tesla Will Succeed” …

Dave

Tesla does not make battery cells, Thats 1/4 the production cost of the car. Tesla also does not make tires, wheels, brakes, glass, touch panels, door hardware, headlight/taillight, weather-stripping, 1/2 shafts w CV joints, electronics, and On S and X the gearbox are made in Taiwan, etc…. Tesla makes in house about 1/2 the production cost of their cars.

GM on the other hands makes Engine, Transmissions, Body’s, most of the suspension, about 60% of the total cost

Toyota is the super stud for making cars they make all of that, plus most of the electronics, because they own Denso, Aisin, and others. Toyota is about 75%+ of cost content created under their umbrella.

Neromanceres

This is not correct. GM designs their own batteries and cell chemistries and has the world largest automotive battery testing facility. LG Chem is one of GM’s suppliers that makes cells and batteries to GM’s specifications. Hitachi is another supplier to GM for some other applications (Malibu Hybrid for example).

mx9000

I was always impressed with GM taking licenses for every battery breakthrough when it came to the Volt battery development. And yet, there’s still no Sport-Wagon Volt, and no SUV. So, there’s a left-brain, right-brain divide deep in the organization.

Mike McD

What I’d really like is an all-electric Volt. Much sharper design than a Bolt.

SJC

They teamed on fuel cells, now this. Good idea!

G2

“Fool cells” tells one that this partnership is all about pandering to the oil industry.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Nope. Developing fool cell cars is a natural result of auto makers pouring lots of money into development of fuel cell tech. Some auto makers have spent as much time and money on that as development of BEV tech, and it’s natural that they want to get something out of all that money they’ve spent.

Sadly for them, the laws of physics strongly disfavor fool cell cars, so they’re really just throwing good money after bad in trying to actually sell them.

Kdawg

Sounds like they want to share components so they can give larger production numbers to suppliers, thus reducing the costs for both of them.

Mike McD

Curious if this will actually be the commercialization of new battery chemistry, or just reducing cobalt by 1% and making a slightly smaller packaging. Sorry for the cynicism.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“…an agreement for new advanced chemistry battery components, including the cell and module…

“Under the agreement, the companies will collaborate based on GM’s next generation battery system with the intent for Honda to source the battery modules from GM. ”

I find this somewhat confusing, as the wording “battery components” suggests just parts for the cells, but not complete cells; yet “source the battery module” indicates an assembled battery pack module, which would include complete cells.

So, is GM going to start building its own cells? I argued in another comment thread that GM should partner with a battery maker to build out large-scale battery factories, as GM does not specialize in R&D for battery cell chemistry improvements, as cell makers do. I argued that GM should team with LG for that just as Tesla has teamed with Panasonic for that purpose. But hey, if I’m wrong then I’m wrong.

Anyway, I expect to see further reports about this subject. If GM stops sourcing cells from LG Chem, then I’m sure we’ll see news about that. But if so, won’t be for at least a couple of years, after the factories are built.

Bunny

It’s been mentioned in some other articles on this issue that LG Chem is still going to be a supplier of cells for this project, but do not know that as actual fact.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Thanks, Bunny!

That would make more sense, at least to me. So GM will be making parts for the cells to ship to LG Chem, and then LG will make the cells and ship them back to GM for assembly into modules, and eventually into packs? Seems to me like a rather inefficient way to do things, but it may make sense if GM locates the component factories near LG Chem’s battery cell factories.

Or maybe I’m looking at this wrong. Maybe this indicates a closer partnership between LG Chem and GM on making batteries, which probably would be a good thing; partnerships usually are. And if GM can get Honda to contribute to the cost of building the factories… well, that could be a win-win-win all around for LG, GM and Honda.

Kdawg

Didn’t GM already license Volt technology to Honda, thus the PHEV Clarity emerged, which is the closest Volt competitor? No time to Google it now, but I seem to recall that. CMIIW.

ab13

The design of GM’s Voltec is more similar to Toyota’s hybrid system than what Honda is doing. Honda’s design is an EV drivetrain with an engine generator for charging and supplying additional electrical power. The GM and Toyota designs both use planetary gear sets to combine the two engine/generators (MG1/2) and the output of the ICE. Honda doesn’t use a planetary gear set because it is basically two systems that switch between each other (EV, serial hybrid, and clutched in direct drive parallel hybrid). That’s why they could make a Clarity PHEV and EV, they just removed the engine generator from the PHEV, so they have a lot of common parts. They just didn’t have enough space for a larger battery.

About 20 years ago GM and Honda worked together on other projects (onStar for Acura, V6 engines for Saturn, diesel engines for Honda). I don’t know about anything previous to that.

Neromanceres

While GM is likely far along in testing new cell designs they likely have not put out bids for supplier contracts yet. Though I would fully expect LG will be one of the major bidders for the contract.

Dave

Agree, since LG is continually expanding their Michigan plant, they are permitting a huge expansion now.

dathomir

Not surprised by this, since Honda has been leveraging Voltec tech and helps both companies save on costs (https://insideevs.com/breaking-general-motors-honda-partner-develop-future-plug-hybrids/).

William L

Honda is so behind on EV game, it’s not even funny. Glad they decided to partner with somebody, anybody.

john1701a
Honda has already delivered what we still wait for from GM. When Volt was rolled out, there’s was an expectation for that technology to be spread to their core offerings… specifically, a model of SUV. It still hasn’t happened. For that matter, there isn’t even a full-size sedan comparable to Clarity announced yet. Why hasn’t the technology from 2010 made its why to anything other than Volt in this market? The answer to that question is simple. GM doesn’t know how to make what they offer affordable. Low cost wasn’t part of the design approach, so now they are stuck with a difficult to sell technology. Some of us expressed concern about that right from the start. We saw the disaster Two-Mode had become and were witnessing the same mistakes being repeated with gen-1 Volt. Not only did that indeed end up being the problem, that very issued wasn’t addressed for gen-2 Volt either. It’s still not affordable. MSRP is too high to appeal to mainstream consumers. Knowing this makes it easier to understand how the need for a partnership came about. There’s mutual benefit from sharing technology. Look at how well the carbon-fiber knowledge from BMW made its way… Read more »
Christopher Krajnik

You do realize that Voltec Technology has seen a 2nd generation that has made its way into Gen 2 Volt, Malibu Hybrid, Cadillac CT6 Hybrid and the upcoming Cadillac XT4 Plug-In. The Spark EV was also developed off of Voltec Technology. All of this has led to the BoltEV.

EVZ3

Who can confirm the Volt originates from Germany?
It is a story I picked up. GM built the Opel Ampera and Volt, then sold of Opel to PSA while significant costs of the PHEV drivetrain development was made in the EU….

Pushmi-Pullyu

Not sure where you’re getting your info from. The Ampera was just a re-badged Volt. If “significant costs of the PHEV drivetrain development was made in the EU” then it’s news to me. Not impossible, but I’ve not seen anyone else make that claim.

GM made the Volt/Ampera only in the U.S. If it had also been assembled in Europe, then GM would almost certainly have been able to price it better. As it was, the Ampera was almost double the cost of the Volt, so no wonder sales were abysmal and soon discontinued.

Neromanceres

The first generation Volt was based off the GM Delta I platform which saw a lot of chassis development out of GM in Germany. But to my knowledge a good chunk of the powertrain was still mostly developed in the US.

Bill Howland

My early 2011 Volt had initially an Austrian engine to satisfy a Union labor problem there. This is ostensibly why the 3 cylinder turbo never made it to the Volt and an ‘old’ 4 cylinder made initially in Austria was chosen. I’m glad for the plain old 4 cyl model since it seems quite reliable. Doesn’t burn a drop of oil.

john1701a

Nothing affordable (able to compete directly with traditional vehicles) has emerged yet though.

Notice how Nissan, Hyundai, and Toyota have all been placing a much higher priority on MSRP ?

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Why hasn’t the technology from 2010 made its [way] to anything other than Volt in this market?”

You omitted any mention of the Cadillac ELR, which used a Voltec powertrain. And that abortive, highly overpriced effort at a slightly larger Voltec car certainly supports your case that GM can’t make their PHEV tech affordable.

Personally, I think it’s not that they can’t, it’s just that they don’t want to. GM does not want to make PEVs (Plug-in EVs) which will cut into sales of their popular gasmobiles. PEVs require less maintenance, so will make less money for their dealerships and for GM selling parts. GM also has much experience with making and selling gasmobiles; PEVs is a much riskier product for them, since they don’t have much expertise in making EV powertrains. And farming out the entire EV powertrain for the Bolt EV certainly didn’t help increase its corporate experience in building powertrains for PEVs!

See “The Innovator’s Dilemma” for more on this subject.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Innovator%27s_Dilemma

Ron

Thanks for just showing the battery. Other sites have to include politically correct models.

Neromanceres

The picture happens to be the Bolt EV’s current battery.

ModernMarvelFan

Well, I am sure a Voltec powered Pilot and CRV would have been top seller.

john1701a

Yes, there’s is a ton of market potential.

RAV4 PHEV production is expected in 2020.