General Motors and Honda Motor will no longer work together to develop affordable electric vehicles (EVs), scrapping a plan that was announced a little over a year ago, the Japanese automaker said today, according to Reuters.
The two companies have an agreement for the Ultium-based Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX SUVs, but last year’s collaboration was supposed to lead to the creation of several more affordable compact electric crossovers that would have been powered by GM’s Ultium batteries.
The first of these models was said to debut on the North American market in 2027 using a new, shared platform that would have taken advantage of all the know-how of both automakers, leading to improved vehicle quality and a boost in production speed. Some models were also slated to go on the global market, including South America and China.
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Now, however, the plan has been ditched, with Honda saying that each of the two carmakers will continue to work on their own affordable EVs. "After conducting some research and analyses, both parties decided to end the development," the Japanese marque added.
The decision comes after yesterday’s not-so-glamorous third-quarter earnings call from GM, which – amid slowing sales growth, rising labor costs, and a bleak economic outlook – decided to abandon its goal of building 400,000 EVs from 2022 through mid-2024 and postponed the market launch of the Chevrolet Equinox EV for “a few months,” according to CEO Mary Barra.
The news comes after the American automotive giant also delayed the production of certain Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV models at its Orion Assembly plant in Michigan, raising concerns about the company’s ability to scale production of its battery-powered vehicles.
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In Q3, GM sold just 20,092 all-electric vehicles in the United States out of a total of over 670,000 vehicles. EV sales were up 21 percent compared to the same period last year, but even so, it’s disappointing to see one of the largest so-called legacy automakers struggle in the world of electric vehicles, especially considering that almost 16,000 of those 20,092 EVs sold in the previous quarter were the trusty Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV pair, which will be discontinued soon.
There is some good news regarding the future of affordable electric cars in GM’s portfolio, though, as it announced it’s working on a next-gen Bolt EV with a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) Ultium battery pack that should be cheaper than the outgoing Bolt EUV, which is priced from around $28,000.