It’s not a merger by any means, but this partnership announced this week should still rock the collective global auto industry back on its heels. Two of the world’s largest producers of motor vehicles, General Motors and Honda, this week disclosed plans to form a new collaboration, developing new lines of lower-priced electric vehicles leveraging both manufacturers’ technologies on what’s being described as an all-new EV platform that will span several vehicle categories.
The initiative’s most basic framework has GM and Honda teaming up to build millions of new EVs, beginning in 2027, using the forthcoming shared platform and the next-generation Ultium battery technology that GM has literally spent billions developing. Collaboration on future battery development, with eyes on cost reduction and improved EV performance, is another goal of the GM-Honda alliance. Right now, GM has active research undergoing on developing lithium-metal, silicon and solid-state batteries, along with production methods that can quickly be used to improve and update battery cell manufacturing processes. In Japan, Honda already has prototyped a demonstration line for building solid-state EV batteries and plans an actual production startup in the near future. GM already had a battery-development pact with Honda, which dates to 2018 and has already produced vehicles such as the Honda Prologue, a jointly developed vehicle set to debut in 2024, just ahead of its forthcoming sibling the first Acura all-electric SUV.