Honda and its luxury division, Acura, have reportedly partnered with General Motors (GM) to develop electric SUVs (e-SUVs).
Honda has named its electric SUV the ‘Prologue’ while Acura has not named its SUV for now. Both will debut their e-SUVs in 2024, and the Prologue is likely to be a forerunner of a series of electric vehicles (EVs).
They are developing the vehicles’ battery systems with the help of General Motors and will get GM’s BEV3 EV architecture and Ultium battery management systems. These systems will also be used in the new GMC Hummer EV pickup, GMC Hummer EV SUV, Cadillac Lyriq SUV and Celestiq, and Chevrolet Silverado in the coming years.
GM has also collaborated with other manufacturers to increase the volume of EV components and subsequently bring down their costs.
The Prologue is likely to be manufactured at GM’s Ramos Arizpe manufacturing plant in Mexico, and the Acura e-SUV will be manufactured at the Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, USA.
GM is only providing the drivetrain for both the vehicles; the styling of their bodies and their interiors will be produced by their manufacturers in their own design studios. Honda’s Prologue is reportedly being designed at its studio in Los Angeles in consideration of the expectations of the North American market where the vehicle will be launched first.
While not much is known about either the Prologue or its luxury counterpart, both are likely to be either midsized, three-row, family utility SUVs or smaller SUVs that are aimed at tapping into several markets. They are reportedly being developed based on their manufacturers’ individual philosophies — mainstream use for Honda, and performance and luxury for Acura.
The anticipated sales for Honda’s Prologue are between those of the Honda Passport and the Honda Pilot which sold 22,000 and 62,000 units respectively within the first five months of 2021.
Although the Prologue will use GM’s EV architecture, Honda has plans to launch a series of EVs with its own ‘eArchitecture’ which is currently under development.
Honda will have to develop its own batteries in North America in order to achieve its target sales. It is reportedly also working on its own solid-state batteries that provide a greater driving range at a reduced cost. In China, Honda is in partnership with the battery giant CATL (that had recently introduced the Sodium-ion battery), and the first CATL batteries will go into the Chinese market.
Honda is also setting up a demonstration line to test the new technology.
Honda may be a world leader in producing efficient internal combustion engines and hybrid EVs but it has lagged in the EV sector. It is now pursuing the EV market with the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.