Honda Motor Co. will produce electric vehicles in North America according to a “new e:Architecture” it plans to develop, as part of its strategy to have an all-electric product portfolio by 2040. The automaker’s current electrification plans are based on the Ultium battery technology developed by General Motors.
Honda and GM have a cooperative agreement based on GM’s Ultium technology, and GM will produce two SUVs for Honda, to appear in 2024.
But the more ambitious plan is for Honda to have all of its North American products powered by batteries or fuel cells by 2040. Honda’s new series of EVs will be introduced after 2025, though it has not announced details of the new e:Architecture.
The first of Honda’s Ultium-powered vehicles will be called the Prologue, the automaker announced this week.
“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,” stated Dave Gardner, EVP of American Honda. “The Prologue will provide our customers with a battery-electric SUV with the excellent functionality and packaging they’ve come to expect from Honda.”
The second SUV will be an Acura vehicle, though its name has not been revealed.
Ultium is a low-cost battery technology that GM unveiled in 2020, with a fuel-cell design that allows higher energy density and uses less non-active material, making more room for the part of the battery that produces energy. GM has two plants under construction now for producing Ultium batteries and plans to build more as part of a "comprehensive and highly integrated plan" announced recently by GM CEO Mary Barra.
Honda’s global CEO Toshihiro Mibe presented the automaker’s “carbon-neutrality” strategy earlier this year, which calls for its North American battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles in North America to reach 40% by 2030, 80% by 2035, and 100% by 2040.