Honda Is Open for an Alliance, Wants Cheaper EVs for All
21 July 2021 - Autocar
Honda has announced it is interested in forming a new alliance to supply cost-effective electric vehicles.
This new alliance Honda would be a two-edged sword, as it should lower the costs of electrifying vehicles while also making them profitable.
The news of Honda's latest plans comes from the company's new CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, who took the reins this April, and he announced the manufacturer's disposition for such partnerships. As InsideEVs notes, Honda has already partnered with GM to build two models based on the American corporation's Ultium platform for electric vehicles.
While it may seem like an easy decision for Honda to just team up with General Motors in this field, their partnership is focused on two new large-sized EVs that are meant to be sold in North America as 2024 models. One of them will be badged as an Acura, while the other will wear the Honda badge. Both will feature GM's Ultium platform for EVs.
Previous collaborations between Honda and General Motors involve hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and autonomous driving technologies. All the above make GM probably the best partner for Honda from that standpoint, but the American corporation has dramatically reduced its presence in Europe, and it is unclear how the resulting models made by Honda and GM would be made different in the context of electrification and marketing.
A distinctive design will be the starting point, but sharing powertrain components and most of the specs will make standing out difficult when compared to their "cousins" from GM.
Meanwhile, Honda's plans for a future alliance are meant to involve a partner who will allow the Japanese company to lead the way with its "completely new EV platform", called e:Architecture. The latter is expected to arrive at the middle of this decade (feel old yet?), which means that the manufacturer has invested a considerable amount in the development of this platform, and it would not make sense to sidetrack it in favor of something borrowed from another partner.