Readers with long memories will recall General Motors and Honda shacked up back in the ‘90s for product sharing when the Big H found itself sans SUV and The General wanted a minivan for its Isuzu showrooms. Toss in an engine program which saw Honda V6 power under the hood of a Saturn Vue (of all things) and there’s no shortage of history between these two major marques.
That relationship now continues into the EV age. The companies have announced they will co-develop “affordable EVs” aimed at popular segments of our market. What’s the timeline? Don’t hold your breath – unless you can do so for about five years.
GM and Honda say they are working together to enable the global production of “millions” of EVs starting in 2027. Given market tastes, this effort will obviously include compact crossover vehicles leveraging the technology and design prowess of these two companies – not to mention their sourcing strategies. You can bet there will be a standardization of equipment and processes but don’t expect a simple rebadge job like the Isuzu Oasis and original Honda Passport.
Efforts like this are usually undertaken to try and drive down costs. With electrification lurking around every corner, OEMs are finding some strange bedfellows to help navigate this era in which the manner in which our cars are propelled is changing rapidly. GM has sunk untold riches into its Ultium platform, so it’ll be interesting to see if it freely shares that particular basket of toys. For its part, Honda is said to be making strides in its solid-state battery technology. Top brass sees this tech as a core element of its future EVs, going so far as to establish a demonstration line in Japan for all-solid-state batteries. This is assisting in marching the technology toward mass production.
“GM and Honda will share our best technology, design and manufacturing strategies to deliver affordable and desirable EVs on a global scale, including our key markets in North America, South America and China,” said Mary Barra, GM chair and CEO. On the other side of the table, Toshihiro Mibe, Honda president & CEO, said “Honda and GM will build on our successful technology collaboration to help achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of electric vehicles.”
Honda and GM have been working on battery collabs since 2018. We’ll take this opportunity to remind all hands that Honda’s first all-electric crossover, called the Prologue, will be the first of two EVs built by General Motors for Honda Motor Company (an Acura-branded variant will follow). Ultium battery tech was mentioned above, and one will find those gubbins in the Prologue and its snazzy sister. The rigs are promised for the 2024 calendar year.
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