General Motors and Honda have announced plans to expand the two companies’ relationship by co-developing a series of affordable electric vehicles based on a new global architecture using the next-generation of GM’s ‘Ultium’ battery technology.
The companies are working to enable global production of millions of EVs starting in 2027, leveraging their technology, design and sourcing strategies. GM and Honda also say they will work toward standardising equipment and processes to achieve world-class quality, higher throughput and greater affordability.
The companies will also discuss future EV battery technology collaboration opportunities to reduce the cost of electrification, improve performance and drive sustainability for future vehicles.
GM is 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 is making progress on its all-solid-state battery technology, which it sees as the core element of future EVs.
“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 US by 2035. By working together, we’ll put people all over the world into EVs faster than either company could achieve on its own.”
Toshihiro Mibe, Honda President & CEO, said the company is committed to reaching its goal of carbon neutrality on a global basis by 2050, which requires driving down the cost of electric vehicles to make EV ownership possible for the greatest number of customers. “Honda and GM will build on our successful technology collaboration to help achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of electric vehicles,” he added.
Shinji Aoyama, Honda Senior Managing Executive Officer, said the progress made with GM since it announced the EV battery development collaboration in 2018, followed by co-development of electric vehicles, demonstrates the win-win relationship that can create new value for customers. “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,” he said.
Doug Parks, GM Executive Vice President Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, said the collaboration with Honda and the continuing development of Ultium are the foundation of the project, using global scale to enable a lower cost foundation for the new series of EVs. “Our plans include a new all-electric product for North America positioned at a price point lower than the upcoming Chevrolet Equinox EV, building on the two million units of EV capacity the company plans to install by the end of 2025,” Parks said.
GM and Honda have developed a close working relationship over many years. In 2013, the two companies began co-development of a 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 co-develop two EVs to be launched in early 2024. The companies also have an ongoing relationship with Cruise and are working together on the development of Cruise Origin, one of the first purpose-built fully autonomous vehicles designed for driverless ride-hail and delivery.