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Chevrolet-Bolt-EUV-22.jpg General Motors
Chevrolet Bolt GM’s least-expensive BEV at $31,995 after $7,500 federal tax credit.

GM, Honda to Codevelop Affordable Electric Vehicles

The automakers will put particular focus on battery-electric compact CUVs, which they say is the world’s largest vehicle segment with annual sales of more than 13 million units.

General Motors and Honda will jointly develop affordable electric vehicles the companies plan to sell by the millions worldwide starting in 2027.

The vehicles will be based on a new global architecture using next-generation Ultium battery technology unveiled by GM in 2020. The collaboration will take advantage of the companies’ technology, sourcing and design resources, and GM and Honda also will work toward standardizing equipment and processes to achieve quality and affordability goals.

The automakers will put particular focus on compact CUVs, which they say is the world’s largest vehicle segment with annual sales of more than 13 million units.

GM and Honda also will discuss future opportunities for collaboration on EV battery technology, to further lower the cost of electrification, improve performance and advance sustainability for future vehicles.

“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,” GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra says 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,” she says. “By working together, we’ll put people all over the world into EVs faster than either company could achieve on its own.”

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Honda e, automaker’s only electric vehicle, sold only in Japan and Europe.

Says Honda President and CEO Toshihiro Mibe: “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. Honda and GM will build on our successful technology collaboration to help achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of electric vehicles.”

Adds Doug Parks, GM executive vice president-Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain: “Our collaboration with Honda and the continuing development of Ultium are the foundation of this project, utilizing our global scale to enable a lower cost foundation for this new series of EVs for millions of customers.

“Our plans include a new all-electric product for North America positioned at a price point lower than the upcoming Chevrolet Equinox EV, building on the 2 million units of EV capacity the company plans to install by the end of 2025.”

GM and Honda have a longtime working relationship that includes several projects focused on electric-, autonomous- and fuel-cell-vehicle technologies. In 2018, Honda joined GM’s EV battery-module development efforts.

In 2020, the automakers announced plans to codevelop two EVs, including the Honda Prologue (pictured, below) launching in early 2024, soon followed by Acura’s first battery-electric utility vehicle. Further, the companies have an ongoing relationship with GM’s Cruise subsidiary and are working together on the development of the Cruise Origin, one of the first purpose-built, fully autonomous vehicles designed for driverless ride hailing and delivery.

HondaHonda Prologue.jpg

Separately, GM announced it has resumed production of the Chevrolet Bolt BEV at its assembly plant in Orion Township, MI for the first time in nearly eight months.

GM started recalling the compact CUV in 2020 following reports of battery fires, then expanded the recall to every Bolt made since production began in 2017. The recall absorbed the supply of available batteries, forcing the automaker to curtail production at Orion and eventually lay off the plant’s 1,200-plus workers temporarily.

The automaker now says production will continue during a $4 billion renovation that will allow the suburban Detroit plant to build battery-electric fullsize pickups starting in 2024, GM spokesman Dan Flores says.

Meanwhile, Chevrolet dealers continue to repair customer vehicles and recently resumed deliveries of some completed Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs in inventory, GM says. 

While GM has had a hard time promoting it during the recall, the Bolt is one of the most affordable BEVs available on the market at a time when demand for battery-electrics is growing amid rising gas prices. The Bolt’s base price is $31,995 with the application of a $7,500 federal tax credit. 

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