Honda and General Motors Partner to Build Electric Vehicles for North American Market

Beverly Braga | Apr 03, 2020

As the utilization of renewable energy sources becomes less avant-garde and more common, the automotive industry is no different in needing to adapt. The latest example is a joint venture between Honda and GM to develop two all-new electric vehicles for the North American market.

Honda and General Motors Partner to Build Electric Vehicles

To be branded as Honda electric vehicles, the overall design and tuning will be handled by Honda while the engineering will be based on GM’s global EV platform and its unique Ultium-battery powertrain. These batteries are large-format, pouch-style cells, which allows for flexibility in positioning within the battery back, leading to optimized energy storage and design.

No further specifics are provided regarding what style or segment these Honda EVs will be and serve, but Ultium-powered EVs offer energy options from 50 to 200 kWh, meaning an estimated full-charge range of more than 400 miles and zero-to-60 mph accelerations within three seconds. These motors also are designed to be compatible with front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive systems and are compatible with Level 2 and DC fast charging.

Collaboration between GM and Honda is not new, however. The two companies have previously worked together on fuel cell technology and on the Cruise Origin, an electric, self-driving vehicle unveiled earlier this year. Honda and GM also partnered in 2018 on GM’s battery module development.

"This agreement builds on our proven relationship with Honda,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development. “[It] 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.”

Automotive electrification has indeed become commonplace and hybrids are no longer a hard sell. Fully electric vehicles and their alternative-energy ilk, however, remain a pricey commitment for the average consumer. As a result, automakers are increasingly pooling together research and development resources. For example, Toyota and Subaru have announced plans to develop two electric SUVs for each brand’s portfolio. BMW and Jaguar/Land Rover as well as Ford and Volkswagen also have development deals in the books.

"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."

In addition to Honda using GM electric vehicle technology, the new EVs will integrate GM’s OnStar service with HondaLink and also incorporate GM’s driver-assistance technologies, including its Super Cruise semi-autonomous cruise control system. Both vehicles will be produced by GM in its North American plants. The Honda EVs are targeted to go on sale for the 2024 model year in the United States and Canada.

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