By Nathalie Voit
General Motors (GM) and Honda said on April 5 they will collaborate on a line of low-cost electric vehicles based on a new universal platform, according to a joint press release from the two car companies.
The joint venture will utilize GM’s next-generation Ultium battery technology. GM said that the new EV series is expected to launch in 2027, beginning in North America.
“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 GM chair and CEO Mary Barra in the 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.”
Among the millions of lower-priced EVs set for production are popular compact crossover vehicles. The automakers said that the compact crossover is the world’s best-selling auto segment with annual volumes of more than 13 million vehicles.
Customers can expect a price range of below $30,000 for the new vehicles, Barra said Tuesday at an Axios event. The lower-priced vehicles are meant to be “attainable EVs,” she said.
No financial details of the agreement have been disclosed yet. However, if successful, the new partnership would result in GM-Honda-developed vehicles that cost about one-third of the price of a standard Tesla Model S, said KTLA reporter David Lazarus.
The competitive pricing would place the automakers in a position to take on Tesla in terms of EV sales.
“We have a very important goal… that by mid-decade, by 2025, we’ll sell more EVs in the U.S. than anyone else, and to do that, you need to have a portfolio of vehicles,” Barra said, noting the Detroit-based company plans to produce a diverse line-up of small to large EVs. “We definitely can scale and can do it quickly.”
GM and Honda’s plans to surpass Tesla are ambitious in their scope.
Elon Musk’s car company is currently the global leader in EV sales with 14% of the market share, according to 2021 EV sales data from research firm Canalys. In the U.S. alone, Tesla held nearly 70% of the market share in 2021, according to vehicle registration data from Experian Automotive. The country’s second best-selling electric vehicle maker was Nissan, coming in at a measly 9%. GM’s Chevrolet came in third, averaging just 7% of the market share. Ford, Volkswagen, Audi, Hyundai, Kia, and FIAT captured just about 10% of the EV market share combined.
However, the automakers are confident their new alliance and plans to “further drive down the costs of electrification” via future EV battery technology collaboration will help secure their spot as leaders in the electric vehicle sector.
“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,” said Honda president & CEO Toshihiro Mibe in this week’s statement. “Honda and GM will build on our successful technology collaboration to help achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of electric vehicles.”