Building on their existing relationship, GM and Honda have announced that they are to expand their ongoing partnership and co-develop a series of affordable electric vehicles (EVs) based on a new global architecture, using GM’s next-generation Ultium battery technology.
The companies are working together to achieve global EV production in the millions, starting in 2027, including compact crossover vehicles, leveraging the two companies’ technology, design and sourcing strategies. The companies will also work toward standardizing equipment and processes to achieve high quality, greater throughput and increased affordability. The companies note that the compact crossover segment is the largest in the world, with annual volumes of more than 13 million vehicles.
GM is already working to accelerate new technologies like lithium-metal, silicon and solid-state batteries, along with production methods that can quickly be used to improve and update battery cell manufacturing processes. Honda, meanwhile, is making progress on its all-solid-state battery technology which the company sees as the core element of future EVs. Honda has established a demonstration line in Japan for all-solid-state batteries and is making further progress 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. “This is a key step to deliver on our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality in our global products and operations by 2040 and eliminate tailpipe emissions from light-duty vehicles in the USA by 2035. By working together, we’ll put people all over the world into EVs faster than either company could achieve on its own.”
“The progress we have made with GM since we announced the EV battery development collaboration in 2018, followed by co-development of electric vehicles including the Honda Prologue, has demonstrated the win-win relationship that can create new value for our customers,” added Shinji Aoyama, Honda senior managing executive officer. “This new series of affordable EVs will build on this relationship by leveraging our strength in the development and production of high-quality, compact class vehicles.”
The two companies have developed a close working relationship over many years, including several projects in recent years focused on electric and autonomous vehicle technologies. In 2013, they began working together on the co-development of a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies. In 2018, Honda joined GM’s EV battery module development efforts. In 2020, GM and Honda announced plans to codevelop two EVs, including the Honda Prologue, to be launched in early 2024, soon followed by Acura’s first EV SUV. Furthermore, the companies have an ongoing relationship with Cruise and are working together on the development of the Cruise Origin, a purpose-built fully autonomous vehicle designed for driverless ride-hail and delivery.