West meets the East. General Motors (GM) an American multinational automotive manufacturing company is expanding its partnership with Honda, a Japanese public multinational conglomerate manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles, and power equipment.
The partnership is aiming for “a series of affordable electric vehicles” to be built on GM’s flexible EV platform with ultium-branded improved battery packs. They are targeting 2027 to launch millions of EVs such as crossover SUVs.
In GM, Japanese automakers an investors, mainly in the autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise. The investment amount is $2 billion over 12 years. The Cruise origin is the partnership result with their focus on building electric autonomous vehicles.
GM is also spending $2.2 billion on the Detroit-Hamtramck plant for an autonomous and electric vehicle. The two automakers Honda and GM are aiming for the launch of the Honda Prologue and an Acura SUV.
As per Toshihiro Mibe, Honda president & CEO, “Honda is committed to reaching our goal of carbon neutrality on a global basis by 2050, which requires driving down the cost of electric vehicles to make EV ownership possible for the greatest number of customers.” In addition, “Honda and GM will build on our successful technology collaboration to help achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of electric vehicles.”
One of the important visions of Mary Barra, GM chair and CEO is to focus on the strategic relationship to compete in the race of electric mobility and autonomous vehicles, “GM and Honda will share our best technology, design, and manufacturing strategies to deliver affordable and desirable EVs on a global scale, including our key markets in North America, South America, and China.”
“This is a key step to deliver on our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality in our global products and operations by 2040 and eliminate tailpipe emissions from light-duty vehicles in the U.S. by 2035. By working together, we’ll put people all over the world into EVs faster than either company could achieve on its own.”
GM and Honda are also aiming for EV battery production. The new technologies such as lithium-metal, silicon, and solid-state batteries are being accelerated by the GM to improve and update the battery cell manufacturing process. The new models are going to use the same platform and share the new battery technologies.
Honda is also aiming for solid-state battery technology as the core future element in EVs. Honda already got its all-solid-state battery mass production line in Japan.
Another major obstacle GM is also addressing is the pricing issue. The market for EVs seems to be more expensive than gas vehicles. Even though the EV battery components are dropping over the years, the constraints in the recent supply chain, shortage in the global chip, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have led to an increase the EV prices. The issue has been targeted by the GM which they are planning to address it by launching the new Chevy Equinox EV at a price lower than $30,000.
As per Rick Schostek, executive vice president at Honda North America, “We have a lot of work ahead of us to get there”
That’s true. They do. The road to competing with Tesla and its new models is speeding up. In the market that has been dominated by Tesla, new expertise needs to partner to share the cost, experience, and expertise.