Honda will use GM’s recently introduced new electric vehicle platform with Ultium batteries as both manufacturers now agreed to develop two BEV models for Honda together. General Motors will make the new electric cars for Honda at its plants in North America.
While Honda will use GM’s versatile new platform for electric vehicles of all kinds, the Japanese say they will design the exterior and interior themselves. More so, both companies claim in identical press releases that the platform will be modified to “support Honda’s driving character”.
Sales of the Honda-BEVs with GM technology are to start in the USA and Canada for the model year 2024. Honda and General Motors did not provide further details on the actual vehicles.
The possibilities are many though. GM announced the architecture just last month when the Group presented a rough electric road map starting with Cadillac. More details have come out since then. The new platform allows installing GM-developed motors in the front, rear and four-wheel drive layouts. Flexibility is further enabled in combination with the variable Ultium battery system. The large-format pouch cells can be arranged vertically or horizontally and allow for capacities ranging between 50 and 200 kWh, which should enable ranges of 400 miles (644 km) and more. So anything from a mid-size sedan to a more massive electric pick-up truck is possible.
Whatever Honda will opt for, the companies have experience of working together using the same platform and system. The Cruise Origin autonomous electric vehicle revealed in January will utilise the technology and has been developed jointly with Honda under the lead of GM’s subsidiary. The product remains at the testing stage for now as reported. GM’s executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain confirmed that GM had a “terrific history of working closely with Honda”.
His sentiment was echoed by American Honda Motor executive vice president Rick Schostek, who said, “this collaboration will put together the strength of both companies”. He added his expectation that the partners would “unlock economies of scale to accelerate our electrification roadmap”.
GM wants to launch 22 new electric models on the new platform by 2023. Honda too, has been working on electrification and its own platform for smaller electric vehicles. The company’s first electric model, the Honda e, will be delivered starting this summer. The manufacturer expects annual sales of around 10,000 units and is preparing a second all-electric car to go on sale in Europe by 2022 as reported.
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