Honda announced that an electric SUV called ‘Prologue’ is going to be its first dedicated battery-electric vehicle coming to the US.
We will have to wait for the model-year 2024 to get it.
The Japanese automaker has been a laggard when it comes to battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).
It had the “Clarity,” but it was a short-range EV built with three different powertrain options.
The automaker also built the Honda-E electric city vehicle, but it decided not to launch the vehicle in North America.
In short, Honda has yet to bring an all-electric vehicle built to be electric from the ground up to the North American market.
Now it is announcing that a new electric SUV called “Prologue” is going to be that vehicle:
“Honda today announced that its first new volume battery-electric vehicle will be named “Prologue,” signaling a new electrified era that will lead to the company’s vision for 100% zero emission vehicle sales in North America by 2040. An all-new SUV coming to market in early 2024, the battery-electric Honda Prologue will be highly competitive with the functionality expected by Honda customers. More specific details about the new vehicle will be released over the coming months, and Honda will engage with prospective EV customers throughout the launch starting with a new webpage.”
It’s going to be the first vehicle to come out of Honda’s partnership with GM to use the latter’s Ultium powertrain technology.
Honda also confirmed that an all-electric Acura SUV based on the Ulitum platform will follow the Prologue the same year:
“In addition to the Honda Prologue, the company will introduce an all-electric Acura SUV in the 2024 calendar year. Both will utilize the highly flexible global EV platform powered by Ultium batteries based on the company’s strategic partnership with General Motors.”
Dave Gardner, executive vice president of American Honda, commented on the announcement of the Prologue:
“Our first volume Honda BEV will begin our transition to electrification and the name Honda Prologue signals the role it will play in leading to our zero-emission future. The Prologue will provide our customers with a battery-electric SUV with the excellent functionality and packaging they’ve come to expect from Honda.”
In the announcement, Honda also reiterated plans to launch “a new series of EV models in the second half of the decade based on a new e:Architecture,” which will be developed internally this time.
This goes to show just how behind Honda is with electrification.
It is going to have to rely on Ultium, a platform developed by GM, until it can build its own, which won’t come until the second half of the decade.
In the meantime, it won’t be able to bring the new Prologue EV to market until 2024.
That’s not too surprising considering GM’s own first EV based on Ulitum won’t come before the end of the year, the Hummer EV, and even that is going to be in low volume.
Higher volume EVs based on Ultium won’t come until later with the Cadillac Lyriq and others, which I assume are getting prioritized over production for Honda’s new vehicle programs.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Honda ends up taking a big hit in the North American market for its tardiness when it comes to launching new compelling BEVs.
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