The news: Honda has announced plans for its upcoming Prologue electric SUV, which it co-developed with GM as the first vehicle in its transition to EVs, per Electrek.
More on this: Honda, which has lagged in the industry-wide adoption of EVs, is using GM’s Ultium electric platform as a springboard for its electrification plans and expects to deliver the Prologue along with an all-electric Acura SUV in 2024.
- Honda designed the Prologue using virtual reality visualization technology and sees it as a starting point toward a goal of 100% electrified sales by 2040. For clarity, this target still includes its Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (HFCVs) and hybrids.
- Honda has committed to delivering 70,000 units annually for its Prologue and Acura EV SUVs.
- After the Prologue’s launch in 2024, Honda will begin production and sales of its eArchitecture models, developed in-house, before moving on to production and sales in 2027 of affordable EVs based on new vehicle architecture co-developed with GM.
- The company’s target is set at 500,000 EVs in North America by 2030. In context, segment leader Tesla shipped 310,000 EVs in Q1 of 2022, so Honda is aiming for a smaller slice of the EV market.
- Vehicles aren’t the only component of Honda’s plans. It’s remodeling dealerships to accommodate charging infrastructure and service bays for EVs.
- “Our dealers are excited about Prologue and the fact that it is just the first volume Honda EV, with more Honda-engineered EVs we will begin building in North America coming to market in 2026,” said Mamadou Diallo, vice president of auto sales for American Honda Motor Co.
The key takeaway: North American EV adoption targets are accelerating carmakers' transition to electric vehicles. More importantly, American EV technology is serving as the template for future EV development.
What this means for Honda: The carmaker can use GM’s platform as a springboard to get EVs on the road while it develops its own more-affordable compact and SUV models.
What this means for GM: Using its leadership position in EVs, GM can continue developing its electric cars and trucks while providing a unified platform for other car manufacturers to base their EVs on. Its open and collaborative stance, which runs counter to rival Tesla’s closed ecosystem, gives GM the potential to shape EV standards in North America.