Auto giant General Motors and Japanese car maker Honda will jointly develop two next-generation electric vehicles using GM’s proprietary Ultium batteries and accompanying EV platform, Honda announced in a statement on Friday.
The Ultium battery and GM’s new electric vehicle platform, first unveiled at the auto-maker’s “EV Day” in early March, will be paired with Honda bodies and interiors, developed using expertise from both companies, and made at GM factories in the US.
The new electric car models to be born of the joint venture are slated to go on sale in 2024 in the US and Canada, says Honda, although there were no more details given at the time about what kind of vehicles they might be.
Honda has one all-electric vehicle under its belt to date, the cutesy Honda e hatchback that has all the quirkiness of a cartoon character.
General Motors and Honda had already established a working relationship around zero emissions vehicles, including collaboration on the autonomous GM Cruise and also on hydrogen fuel cells.
The new collaboration will combine the strengths of both companies, says executive VP for Honda in America, Rick Schostek, and will help Honda to reduce costs in order to further embrace the age of electric transport.
“This expanded partnership will unlock economies of scale to accelerate our electrification roadmap and advance our industry-leading efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he said in a statement.
“This agreement builds on our proven relationship with Honda, and further validates the technical advancements and capabilities of our Ultium batteries and our all-new EV platform,” said Doug Parks, executive VP of GM’s global product development, purchasing and supply chain department in a statement.
“Importantly, it is another step on our journey to an all-electric future and delivering a profitable EV business through increased scale and capacity utilisation. We have a terrific history of working closely with Honda, and this new collaboration builds on our relationship and like-minded objectives.”
The vertically or horizontally stackable Ultium battery uses a proprietary low-cobalt chemistry that GM says will enable it to pack up to 200kWh energy capacity into its 10 planned electric models including an “electric utility vehicle” based on the now-delayed Bolt EV, a Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV, and a Hummer EV.
Using a 400V architecture for smaller models, larger models with 800V architecture will be able to achieve ultra-rapid charging speeds of 350kW.
Honda will also utilise GM’s OnStar safety and security services integrated with its own Hondalink, as well as the US car maker’s advanced “hands-free” driver assist technologies.
Honda is also in talks with another car maker to which it may also extend its partnership, says Schostek.
“We are in discussions with one another regarding the possibility of further extending our partnership,” Schostek said.
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Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.