Honda is working on three new electric vehicle platforms with the goal of getting small, medium and large EVs on the road by 2030. The news is particularly noteworthy because Honda's goal is to make EVs more affordable — and while plenty of electric cars are in the works, few of them have price tags below $30,000.
Honda's global head of Electrification Shinji Aoyama told Reuters that the company is working on two new platforms, one for mini EVs that will be available in Japan by 2024 and one for full-sized EVs that will roll out in North America in 2026. A third, previously announced platform for medium-sized cars is being developed in partnership with GM, and Aoyama said cars based on that platform will start rolling out in North America by 2027.
"Whether they will be based on Honda's architecture or on GM's platform has not been decided," Aoyama told Reuters.
Honda is also in talks with GM to develop a new solid-state battery for EVs, which would be a noteworthy breakthrough. Current lithium-ion EV batteries are subject to risks like bursting into flames (yikes), and a solid-state battery would be far more stable. It would also be able to store more electricity.
Aoyama said in a separate interview with Bloomberg that Honda plans to start piloting a solid-state battery program in 2024 with an eye toward production in toward the end of the decade.
Honda's announcement forecasts a wave of potentially affordable EVs rolling into the market (supply chain issues notwithstanding) over the next five to eight years. Ford recently split into two in order to streamline EV production, and is creating its own platforms as well as batteries and charging tech. Volkswagen, Toyota and Hyundai are all also working on their own electric vehicle platforms.
Honda's goal is to build 2 million EVs by 2030, with 750,000 to 800,000 built in North America (including the ones developed with GM). Aoyama told Reuters it's still unclear whether the GM/Honda vehicles will be built at a GM plant or a Honda one, and offered no additional details as to what the cars will be.
Separately, GM is building two electric SUVs for Honda in North America beginning in 2024. GM's Cadillac Lyriq platform will be the foundation of those premium vehicles, and GM's Ultium batteries will power them.