General Motors and Honda are developing a new global electric vehicle architecture that will underpin multiple models, the companies announced in a press release Tuesday morning. The goal is to have the capacity to build millions of affordable EVs on the platform by 2027. This marks a serious deepening of the relationship between the two companies following their initial collaboration on fuel-cell technology and upcoming Honda EVs.
According to CNBC's Mike Wayland, GM Executive Vice President of Electric, Autonomous, and Fuel Cell Programs Ken Morris told said that the co-developed cars should slot in under $30,000. The key product will be a compact crossover, already one of the world's hottest segments and one that Honda plays a massive role in with the CR-V. But the collaboration won't stop there.
In addition to the other products on the platform, GM and Honda "also will discuss future EV battery technology collaboration opportunities," like solid-state batteries, per the companies' statement. That's key because massive cost reductions for BEVs don't seem possible with current lithium-ion batteries.
Honda and GM say they will also work on standardizing production processes and equipment to ensure "world-class quality" and affordability for the joint products. That suggests that, like GM's collaboration with Toyota at the "NUMMI" plant, the companies want to learn from each other's production methods.
In this case, Honda may be the one with more to learn. The company has been a laggard on the EV front, taking a more cautious approach than most American and European companies. It won't be launching its first long-range EV in the U.S. until 2024, and that will ride on GM's existing EV architecture. A new platform, with Honda involved from day one but using GM Ultium batteries, could be transformative for the company's efforts. But given Honda's incredible history of making compelling, affordable cars, GM has a lot to gain, too.