Honda and GM Make an Unlikely EV Couple

Honda and GM are collaborating on electric vehicles in a move that might help bring down the cost of electrification.
Written by Andrew Kidd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Apr 13, 2022
Honda
and General Motors have become unlikely bedfellows when it comes to developing
affordable EVs
.
Car and Driver
reports that General Motors and Honda are co-developing a line of affordable electrified compact SUVs to hit U.S. streets by 2027.
Honda is already reported to be adopting GM’s EV platform for two of its 2024 electric SUVs. This latest announcement also indicates manufacturing plans for global production of millions of electric vehicles.

Honda and GM working together should drive costs down

As C&D reports, the new models will share a common platform and new battery technologies, including solid-state capability and alternative materials. The publication predicts that while these vehicles will likely be Chevy or Honda branded, it could also come to include each automaker’s upscale brands like Cadillac or Acura.
GM states in its
announcement
that it and Honda will consider future collaboration on batteries to help drive down the cost of electrification, as well as improve vehicle performance and sustainability for future models.

Partnerships benefit the masses

When automakers collaborate, the customer usually benefits. As the price of manufacturing a vehicle increases, partnerships between automakers can help drive down costs by sharing resources, whether it’s the brainpower of their engineers or the manpower of their manufacturing facilities.
As
AutoGuide
notes, fuel economy and safety standards can be tough—and expensive, research-wise— to meet, especially considering when that work might need to be repeated for multiple markets. 
If an automaker were to consider
hybridizing
its fleet—also a costly undertaking—it makes financial sense to consult an expert in the technology to see if they can share.

Honda and GM haven’t always been so friendly

To that end, Honda and GM have developed friendlier relations over the past few years, collaborating on next-generation fuel cell tech and, more recently, electric vehicle batteries.
But GM and Honda had a rocky start to their relationship dating back to the ‘70s, with the former attempting to discredit the latter as cheap and under-powered.
One prominent example is when Honda released its CVCC engine in 1973. As
MotorBiscuit
reported, Ford and Chrysler had signed on to license the CVCC (or compound vortex controlled combustion) technology for their vehicles, but GM passed. GM CEO Richard Gerstenberg said he saw no potential for Honda’s engine in its vehicles, insulting it as a “toy motorcycle engine.”
Soichi Honda, not one to leave an insult like that stand, opted to retaliate with results, not words. Honda purchased a 1973 Chevrolet Impala equipped with GM’s V8 engine, shipped it to Japan, and had CVCC heads installed before sending it back to Michigan for EPA testing against 1975 requirements—which it passed.
The point of that experiment was to demonstrate CVCC technology’s potential to reduce emissions without resorting to a catalytic converter or a fuel injection. While Honda eventually adopted catalytic converters and the CVCC engine phased out, it’s still a great clap-back to a dismissive automotive exec.
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National General
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Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
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Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

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