Honda’s next-gen EVs to be powered by GM’s Ultium batteries

Photo: Steve Fecht for GM

General Motors and Honda are collaborating to jointly develop two all-new electric vehicles for Honda, based on GM’s EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries. The styling of the EVs (exterior and interior) will be done by Honda while the platform will be engineered to suit Honda’s driving character, the official statement said.

Production of these Honda electric vehicles will combine the development expertise of both companies, and they will be manufactured at GM plants in North America. The statement added that the sales are expected to begin in the 2024 model year in Honda’s United States and Canadian markets.

Cruise-OriginCruise Origin

GM and Honda have an ongoing relationship around electrification. This includes work on fuel cells and the Cruise Origin, an electric, self-driving and shared vehicle, which was revealed in San Francisco earlier this year. Honda also joined GM’s battery module development efforts in 2018.

“We are in discussions with one another regarding the possibility of further extending our partnership,” said Rick Schostek, Executive Vice President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

As part of the agreement to jointly develop electric vehicles, Honda will incorporate GM’s OnStar safety and security services into the two EVs, integrating them with HondaLink. Additionally, Honda plans to make GM’s hands-free advanced driver-assist technology available.

GM’s new Ultium batteries are claimed to be unique in the industry because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. The energy options range from 50 to 200 kWh, which could enable a GM-estimated range of up to 400 miles (640+ km) or more on a full charge.

Motors designed in-house will support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive applications.

GM further said that the joint venture with LG Chem will drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh. “The cells use a proprietary low cobalt chemistry, and ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs will drive costs even lower.”

In September 2019, Honda revealed the ‘e’ all-electric hatchback. More on that here.

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