Honda and General Motors will expand their electric vehicle collaboration to introduce a new series of models that will arrive in 2027 in North America. These vehicles will share a new global platform that will use GM's Ultium battery technology.
The automakers hint that at least one of these upcoming EVs would be a compact crossover, which is hardly surprising given the popularity of this segment. They plan to produce the vehicles sharing this new platform globally. By pursuing the use of standardised assembly equipment and processes the companies want to have greater economies of scale, which should mean improved affordability.
"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 isn't the start of Honda and GM's collaboration, and it doesn't appear to be the end either. The brands are also discussing the possibility of collaborating on EV batteries. Their announcement claims this would "further drive down the cost of electrification."
Both companies are working on developing solid-state batteries. Honda has a demonstration assembly line for them in Japan that it is developing toward eventually allowing mass production. GM is also working on lithium-metal and silicon packs.
Honda previously announced plans to build an electric crossover using GM's Ultium platform and batteries. The company calls the model Prologue, and it goes on sale in early 2024. A premium Acura version of this model is also on the way.
GM will allegedly build these models. Production of the Honda-branded product will take place at the automaker's plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, where it produces vehicles like the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox. The Acura will reportedly come from Tennessee.
Honda is also a partner in GM's Cruise Automation programme to work on the large-scale deployment of autonomous vehicles. As of 2018, the Japanese automaker pledged a $2 billion investment over the course of 12 years, plus a $750-million equity investment.