Two of the world's biggest automakers are extending their partnership to make really, really cheap electric vehicles.
GM and Honda have worked together for the past four years on EV development. In 2018 the two agreed to partner on battery module development and two years later they began working on two EVs -- the Honda Prologue, launching in 2024, and Acura's first EV SUV.
The new goal is to produce "millions" of EVs by 2027 including compact crossover cars that will build on both companies' technology, design and sourcing assets. They also want to standardize equipment and processes to manufacture crossovers across both companies' brands.
Fruits of this collaboration will be electric cars that cost less than $30,000, according to a statement from Ken Morris, GM’s executive vice president of electric, autonomous and fuel cell programs, quoted by CNBC.
"The progress we have made with GM since we announced the EV battery development collaboration in 2018, followed by co-development of electric vehicles including the Honda Prologue, has demonstrated the win-win relationship that can create new value for our customers,” said Shinji Aoyama, Honda senior managing executive officer, in a statement. “This new series of affordable EVs will build on this relationship by leveraging our strength in the development and production of high quality, compact class vehicles.”
This partnership comes as EVs are having a moment. Sales of electric vehicles rocketed up in the first three months of the year, according to data from the Autodata Corp.
Leaders included Tesla and Polestar (which just announced a deal with Herz to put lots of their electric cars on the rental car company's lots). .
In a statement Honda and GM committed to deeper collaborations on battery technologies to further reduce costs.
GM's working on a range of new battery technologies that could be cheaper, and use less rare earth metals than existing batteries. These lithium-metal, silicon, and solid state batteries are made by companies like the Woburn, Massachusetts-based SES, which received a $139 million investment led by the automaker last year. Solid Power, another battery maker recently began trading on public stock markets, while Factorial Energy has raised $200 million from Mercedes Benz and Stellantis.
FootPrint Coalition's portfolio company, Lyten is also developing technologies that can supercharge the EV industry with low cost batteries.
“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,” said Mary Barra, GM chair and CEO, in a statement. “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.”