GM and Honda will jointly develop two new electric vehicles slated for 2024, the latest move by the two automakers to deepen their existing partnership.
Under the plan, the automakers will focus on their respective areas of expertise. Honda will design the exterior and interiors of the new electric vehicles; GM will contribute its new electric vehicle architecture and Ultium batteries. This new architecture, which GM unveiled last month to showcase its own EV plans, is capable of 19 different battery and drive-unit configurations. The architecture includes large-format pouch battery cells manufactured as part of a joint venture between LG Chem and GM.
The vehicles, which will have a Honda nameplate, will incorporate GM's OnStar safety and security services. GM's hands-free advanced driver assistance technology, known as Super Cruise, will also be available in the new vehicles.
The vehicles will be produced at GM plants in North America. Sales are expected to begin in the 2024 model year in Honda's U.S. and Canadian markets.
The aim is to pull the strengths of both companies to unlock economies of scale around electric vehicles, according to Rick Schostek, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., who added that the two companies are already in discussions about further extending the partnership.
The companies have a long history of working together, including sharing vehicles as far back as the late 1990s when Isuzu was part of GM. The bulk of the joint projects have centered on hydrogen fuel cell tech, batteries and more recently, autonomous vehicles.
GM and Honda formed a strategic alliance in July 2013 to develop hydrogen fuel cell technology, a partnership that has produced some 1,200 patents. The automakers formed a joint venture in 2017 called Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC to produce hydrogen fuel cell systems. FCSM is installing the production equipment for their first high-volume fuel cell manufacturing facility in Brownstown, Michigan with production expected to begin this year, according to GM.
The companies announced in 2018 an agreement for Honda to use battery cells and modules from GM in electric vehicles built for the North American market.
GM acquired Cruise in 2016; Honda later committed $2.75 billion as part of an exclusive agreement with GM and its self-driving technology subsidiary Cruise to develop and produce a new kind of autonomous vehicle. Cruise Origin, an electric, self-driving and shared vehicle and the first product of that arrangement, was revealed January 21.