General Motors and Honda to co-develop electric vehicles in expanded partnership –

Author: Eric Walz

Gm and Honda will work together to enable the global production of millions of electric vehicles from 2027.

US automaker General Motors is expanding its partnership with Japan’s Honda Motor Co. The two automakers will jointly develop new, more affordable electric vehicles across all segments, including passenger cars and SUVs.

As part of the expanded collaboration, the two companies said they will work together to enable the global production of millions of electric vehicles from 2027. The partnership will leverage both companies’ strengths in technology, design and of supply chains.

The electric vehicle produced jointly by GM and Honda will include popular segments like compact electric crossovers. The compact crossover segment is the largest in the world, with annual volumes of more than 13 million vehicles.

“GM and Honda will share our best technology, design and manufacturing strategies to deliver affordable and desirable electric vehicles globally, including in our key markets of North America, South America and China. said GM President and CEO Mary Barra. “This is a key step in delivering on our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality in our global products and operations by 2040 and to eliminate tailpipe emissions from light-duty vehicles in the United States by 2035. By working together, we’ll get people all over the world into electric vehicles faster than either company could on its own.”

Companies will also strive to standardize equipment and processes to achieve world-class vehicle quality and greater affordability through economies of scale. Part of the affordability aspect will include opportunities for collaboration on EV battery technology, to further reduce electrification costs, improve performance and support the sustainability of future vehicles.

The high cost of batteries is currently one of the main obstacles to the adoption of electric vehicles. This cost is passed on to buyers, making electric vehicles much more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts.

For example, EV battery production costs fell to $132 per kWh at the end of 2021, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which tracks the industry. For a typical EV with a 70 kWh battery, that translates to around $9,240, making it difficult for automakers, including segment leader Tesla, to build more affordable EVs.

As part of GM’s plans to transition to an all-electric automaker, the company is already working to develop new battery chemistries, including lithium-metal, silicon and solid-state batteries. GM is also developing production methods that can quickly be used to improve and update battery cell manufacturing processes.

Separately, Honda has made progress on solid-state battery technology, which the company sees as the backbone of future electric vehicles. Honda has already established a demonstration line in Japan for producing solid-state batteries and is still moving towards mass production, according to GM.

The expanded partnership builds on the previous collaboration with GM’s Cruise self-driving unit. GM and Honda have co-developed the Cruise Origin autonomous multi-passenger electric vehicle that will be used for an autonomous transportation service that Cruise aims to launch in San Francisco in the near future. The highly configurable Origin will also be used for autonomous last mile delivery services.

The Origin shuttle was heavily engineered by Honda, with GM supplying the electric powertrain components and Cruise responsible for developing the vehicle’s self-driving hardware and systems.

In September 2020, GM and Honda announced plans to co-develop two electric vehicles for North America, including the upcoming Honda Prologue SUV, which is expected to launch in early 2024. The Prologue will be followed by another SUV electric from Honda’s Acura luxury brand. .

GM unveiled its new Utium EV platform in March 2020. Scalable EV architecture can be shared between models and helps streamline production, reducing costs. GM said its modular EV platform will help it build more affordable electric vehicles at scale.

“Honda is committed to achieving its goal of global carbon neutrality by 2050, which requires reducing the cost of electric vehicles to make electric vehicle ownership possible for as many customers as possible,” said Toshihiro Mibe, president and CEO of Honda. “Honda and GM will build on our successful technology collaboration to help achieve a dramatic expansion in electric vehicle sales.”

In January, Honda announced that it had signed a joint development agreement with SES, a Massachusetts-based electric vehicle battery research and development company, which will focus on the development of lithium-metal (Li-metal) batteries for electric vehicles.

SES was founded in 2012 as a spin-off from MIT. The company was previously known as “SolidEnergy Systems”.

SES is a world leader in the development and initial production of high-performance Li-Metal hybrid rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and other applications.

Most of GM’s new electric vehicles will have 400-volt batteries and fast-charging capability of up to 200 kW. The modular EV platform houses the electric motor, transmission and electronics in a single lightweight and compact package. It is designed to be powered by GM’s new Ultium batteries.

GM’s global electric vehicle platform is flexible enough to build a wide range of trucks, SUVs, crossovers, cars and utility vehicles with exceptional design, performance, range and affordability, according to the company.

It will be interesting to see what the two automakers bring to market in the years to come.


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