General Motors will produce Honda’s first two fully-electric vehicles in North America. However, the Japanese automaker plans on changing its course and producing its own vehicle later in the decade.
Officials at Honda claim they are developing their own EV architecture and will begin building it after two GM-made EVs go into production in 2024.
Honda of America Executive Vice President Dave Gardner stated that “it’s absolutely our intention” to produce in their factories. He also said Honda has developed a battery manufacturing expertise through the building of gas-electric hybrids. “We will absolutely use that resource.”
Honda and GM are partners in hydrogen fuel cell technology and electric vehicles. They announced earlier this year that GM would construct one Honda SUV and one Acura SUV with its Ultium-branded electric vehicle architectures and battery systems. According to the company, the Honda SUV will be called the Prologue and both SUVs will feature Honda-designed bodies, interiors, and driving characteristics.
Honda will manufacture most of the series of electric cars, but it isn’t yet certain if it will use GM parts.
Gardner claims that sales projections for Prologue range from 40,000 to 150,000 per annum, but he did not specify when these numbers would be achieved.
The company announced in April that it would phase out all gasoline-powered cars in North America by 2040. This makes it the latest automaker to set a carbon neutral goal. Honda plans to make North American vehicles battery- or fuel-cell-powered by 2030. 80% of North American vehicles will be powered by hydrogen or batteries by 2035.
Honda originally planned to add hybrids to their internal combustion engines to achieve stricter fuel economy and pollution standards. Gardner stated that the company has moved more towards electric vehicles because of regulatory actions around the globe to combat climate change. This includes proposals from the U.S. President Joe Biden.
Although battery-electric vehicles made up less than 2% in U.S. new vehicle sales last year analysts expect huge growth as new models are introduced by automakers. LMC Automotive, a consulting firm, expects that nearly 359,000 vehicles will be sold this year. This figure will rise to 1 million by 2023 and 4 million by 2030. This is still a quarter of the annual sales of new vehicles.