Our Perspectives: Our Affordable, Electrified Future

Announcing a new battery electric vehicle isn’t exactly headline making news these days.  Our latest collaboration with GM is a bit different. Our unique proposition is to leverage the strengths of our two companies to drive down the cost of electric vehicles, making it possible for the greatest number of customers to purchase an EV globally, as well as in North America, to purchase an EV.

Each company will contribute unique values to this effort to create a new series of affordable electric vehicles. 

I think it’s fair to say that Honda has been the industry leader in creating affordable, fuel efficient and fun to drive compact vehicles since we joined the U.S. auto industry a half century ago.  This includes the Honda Civic and CR-V... now our best-selling car and SUV, respectively.  These products have helped Honda lead all full-line automakers in America with the highest fleet-wide fuel economy and the lowest CO2 emissions, according to the U.S. EPA1 

Of course, staying at the top of this list in the future will require a change from a “power train” to a “drive train.”  That’s where our global strategy to embrace technology alliances comes in.  Our relationship with GM, which made a bold commitment to become a 100% EV brand, is one way in which we are accelerating this electrified future. 

We plan to leverage these strengths to achieve a dramatic expansion in the sales of affordable, compact electric vehicles.  The foundation of this collaboration is the strength of the relationship between GM and Honda, and the comfort level we have in joint development projects based on successful collaboration in other advanced technology projects focused on electric and autonomous vehicles.

Of course, this includes the announcement in 2020 of our plans to co-develop two EV SUVs, which includes the Honda Prologue and an all-electric Acura SUV.  We will begin to launch these models in 2024.

The success of the members of our design and development teams working with their GM counterparts in Warren, Michigan, was a key factor in the decision to develop a new series of affordable electric vehicles together. 

But I want to be clear that our goal – and what is driving our pursuit of electrified vehicles – is our global commitment to achieve carbon neutrality on a global basis by 2050.  This is a unique challenge for Honda, as we make not only cars and trucks, but motorcycles, a variety of power equipment products and aircraft for our customers here and in markets around the world.

At the same time, as we announced last year, Honda is already developing electric vehicles using our own Honda e:Architecture and they are in the pipeline.  So, we’re not providing details on where the Honda derivative from the new affordable EV series will sit in the Honda lineup.  What I can tell you is that our offerings will align with our customers’ and dealers’ expectations in North America and other markets where they will be introduced. And we will align it with the models we are creating based on our own e: Architecture.

Finally, this fall we will mark 40 years of building automobiles in America2.  And I can tell you the associates at our manufacturing operations in North America are excited about the prospect of building battery electric vehicles in the years ahead. 

We already make hybrid-electric vehicles in Ohio and Indiana, including assembly of the battery module and two-motor hybrid system in several of these plants. And we just announced a major investment in our auto plants in Canada, to support their production of hybrid-electric vehicles.  

So, the journey to electrification has begun, and through this win-win relationship with GM we will accelerate it before the end of the decade. In so doing, we can accomplish more together, for our customers and for global climate change, than either company could do alone. 

Rick Schostek
Executive Vice President, Corporate Services
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

1. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: The 2021 EPA Automotive Trends Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Fuel Economy and Technology since 1975. Published November 2021.
2. Using domestic and globally-sourced parts