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GM, Honda to team up on electric vehicles

General Motors and Honda are planning to co-develop some affordable electric vehicles that will use next-generation Ultium battery technology.

The vehicles, which will include a compact crossover, are expected to go on sale in North America in 2027. The compact crossover segment is the largest in the world, with annual volumes of more than 13 million vehicles.

Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, said in a statement Tuesday the plan is to have an electric vehicle that is priced lower than the upcoming Chevrolet Equinox EV.

“Our collaboration with Honda and the continuing development of Ultium are the foundation of this project, utilizing our global scale to enable a lower cost foundation for this new series of EVs for millions of customers,” Parks said.

The plan builds on the 2 million units of electric vehicle capacity GM plans to have in place by the end of 2025, Parks said.

GM and Honda also will discuss future EV battery technology collaboration opportunities, to further drive down the cost of electrification, improve performance and drive sustainability for future vehicles, according to the companies.

The Mahoning Valley will play a large role in GM’s electric vehicle revolution with the Ultium Cells battery-cell plant set to begin production in August.

The 3.1 million-square-foot, $2.3 billion plant is on about 158 acres adjacent to GM’s former assembly plant. It is the first of several multiple battery-cell plants planned by Ultium Cells in the U.S. Another in Spring Hill, Tenn., is under construction, and a third is planned in Lansing, Mich., on land leased from GM. The Lansing plant was just announced in January.

The company, a joint venture between GM and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution, had 200 workers on board for its still-under-construction factory in Lordstown at the end of 2021. It plans to have more than 600 employees by the end of the year and hit its targeted projection of more than 1,100 employees by the end of 2023.

GM and Honda have partnered successfully over the years. In 2013 the companies started working together on the co-development of a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies.

In 2018, Honda and GM announced that they’d team up to develop batteries for electric vehicles, mostly for the North American market. The two companies said at the time that they would collaborate based on GM’s next-generation battery system.

Last year, the companies announced that GM would build one Honda SUV and one Acura SUV using its Ultium-branded electric vehicle architecture and battery system. The companies said at the time the Honda SUV would be named the Prologue, and that both SUVs would have bodies, interiors and driving characteristics designed by Honda. But Honda also said in June that it plans to make its own electric vehicles later this decade.

business@tribtoday.com

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