The previously announced joint collaboration between Honda Motor and General Motors to develop a platform for affordable electric vehicles (EVs) has been cancelled, the firms said today. Initially publicized in April 2022, the collaboration aimed to produce lower-cost EVs for the North American, South American, and Chinese markets, with the first models expected to roll out in 2027. However, the companies disclosed that they have mutually agreed to disband the project. ArsTechnica: “After extensive studies and analysis, we have come to a mutual decision to discontinue the program. Each company remains committed to affordability in the EV market,” Honda and GM said in a joint statement. “After studying this for a year, we decided that this would be difficult as a business, so at the moment we are ending development of an affordable EV,” said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe in an interview with Bloomberg. “GM and Honda will search for a solution separately. This project itself has been canceled,” Mibe said.
The now-canceled platform was supposed to use GM’s Ultium batteries. GM debuted Ultium in 2020 as its third-generation lithium-ion cell, developed together with LG Chem. At the time, GM CEO Mary Barra said that Ultium cells would drop below the $100/kWh barrier “early in the platform’s life.” In 2022, the first Ultium-based EVs went into production — the GMC Hummer EV, the Cadillac Lyriq, and the BrightDrop Zevo 600. Ultium cells were supposedly ready for mass production, but GM and LG Chem are struggling to make that a reality. In July, GM had to idle BrightDrop’s production line in Canada due to a shortage of battery cells, and Kelly Blue Book’s sales data for the first three quarters of 2023 show that just 6,920 Ultium-based EVs (which include the Chevrolet Blazer and Silverado EV, as well as the Hummer, Lyriq, and BrightDrop van) were delivered to customers.