In early March, General Motors (GM) unveiled a highly flexible global EV platform powered by cheaper Ultium batteries, developed with the help of LG Chem. And now, it has announced the partnership with Honda to jointly develop two all-new electric vehicles for Honda, based on GM’s global platform for electric vehicles.
While most of the technical components are offered by GM itself, the interior and exterior design of the projects will be on the Japanese automaker. Under the agreement, the production of these electric models will be made at GM’s North American factories, with sales expected from 2024 in the United States and Canada.
It is not yet known what is size or nature of the two electric models, although we would not be surprised if they were large SUVs or pickups that could be offered at a profit in North America in the near future. Also, there are no other details announced on the technical characteristics, capacities, or price of these two new products.
An unusual feature of the Ultium system compared to other similar skateboard platforms is that the battery modules can be placed in two rows on top of each other, thus achieving a battery capacity of 200 kWh. Hence, it can be used for larger models – large SUVs and flatbed vans – and provide a range of up to 500 km.
“This collaboration will put together the strength of both companies, while combined scale and manufacturing efficiencies will ultimately provide greater value to customers,” said Rick Schostek, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “This expanded partnership will unlock economies of scale to accelerate our electrification roadmap and advance our industry-leading efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
As part of this agreement, Honda will incorporate GM’s OnStar safety and protection services in both electric models, integrating them with HondaLink. In addition, Honda plans to also offer GM driver assistance technology in its new vehicles.
GM and Honda already have partnerships when it comes to electrification, which includes work with fuel cells on the Cruise Origin concept unveiled in San Francisco earlier this year. Honda also joined GM’s battery module development efforts in 2018.