GM and Honda are both aiming to get more serious about electric vehicles and that means securing a supply of high-performance batteries.
In order to achieve that, the two major automakers are announcing today a new partnership to build next-gen batteries for electric vehicles.
They will develop “new advanced chemistry battery components, including the cell and module, to accelerate both companies’ plans for all-electric vehicles,” based on GM’s existing next-gen battery development.
They aim for this next-generation battery to “deliver higher energy density, smaller packaging and faster-charging capabilities for both companies’ future products, mainly for the North American market.”
GM describes the partnership in a press release:
“Under the agreement, the companies will collaborate based on GM’s next generation battery system with the intent for Honda to source the battery modules from GM. The collaboration will support each company’s respective and distinct vehicles. The combined scale and global manufacturing efficiencies will ultimately provide greater value to customers.”
Mark Reuss, General Motors Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, commented on the agreement:
“This new, multiyear agreement with Honda further demonstrates General Motors’ capability to innovate toward a profitable electric portfolio. GM’s decades of electrification experience and strategic EV investments, alongside Honda’s commitment to advancing mobility, will result in better solutions for our customers and progress on our zero emissions vision.”
The two automakers didn’t elaborate on the timeframe beyond stating that it is a “multi-year agreement.”
At the moment, Honda’s electrification effort has been extremely limited due to the company’s focus on hydrogen fuel cells. It has the low volume and unpopular all-electric Clarity, but there are several other EVs coming from the Japanese automaker in the next few years.
As for GM, the Detroit-based automaker is promising several new electric vehicles.
Last year, They announced an expansion of their electric car plans to add 2 new electric vehicles based on the Bolt EV platform within the next 18 months and then 18 more electric vehicles on new platforms within the next 5 years.
Right now, the Bolt EV is their only all-electric vehicle in production and the batteries are made by LG Chem.
GM and Honda are already collaborating on a new fuel cell powertrain to power their upcoming electric vehicles.
I think what happened here is that they probably finally figured out that their newly developed hydrogen fuel cell powertrain won’t be able to compete with battery-powered cars and therefore, they are partnering up on new batteries in order to catch up with other automakers who have been focusing on batteries, like Tesla, VW, Daimler, BMW and most recently Toyota.
It’s a no-brainer really and I just hope for them that they didn’t lose too much time.
As for the actual batteries, “next generation”, “higher energy density, smaller packaging and faster-charging capabilities”, those terms all make me think of solid state batteries – though they didn’t mention it.
I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what they end up working on.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.