The billion-dollar bet General Motors made to develop a new electric vehicle platform and Ultium battery system is paying off in the shape of an agreement with Honda. The two companies have announced that they will collaborate on two electric vehicles for the Japanese automaker based on this technology.
The deal is a continuation of a relationship they have built over some time, beginning in 2012 when they began an alliance to develop hydrogen fuel cell systems together. It has progressed since then with collaboration on self-driving technology with Cruise. Check out the graph below for more details.
Although the drivetrain will consist of GM's EV tech, the rest of the vehicles will be distinctly Honda. So, while the flexible electric vehicle platform will be formulated specifically for the set of vehicles in question, Honda will design and build both the bodies and interiors.
GM's platform and electric architecture can be formulated in a large number of ways: either front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel-drive. The batteries can be configured to support packs ranging from 50 to 200 kWh. In this case, we expect that Honda will likely choose to go with 100 kWh or lower. GM will use the large 200 kWh pack in its full-sized GMC Hummer SUV.
Given that Honda's only current electric offering is a small city car, the adorable Honda e, we believe it's likely these two new vehicles will be crossovers sized for different market niches. The press release, which you can find below with even more details, mentions that the collaboration may extend beyond these first two vehicles. Considering the scale of the various components involved, we expect that will indeed happen.
Besides EV tech, the vehicles will also feature General Motor's OnStar system, which will be integrated with HondaLink. Interestingly, the presser mentions that Honda will also offer GM's
"hands-free advanced driver-assist technology." Though it isn't named outright, this likely refers to Super Cruise, which the Detroit automaker will begin expanding outside the Cadillac brand beginning with the Chevy Bolt EUV next year.
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
DETROIT and TORRANCE, Calif. 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.