Honda and GM to share EV platform for lower-cost North American models

Nikkei -- Sep 07
Honda Motor will start selling electric vehicles in the North American market made with over 50% of the same parts as General Motors cars, Nikkei has learned, the latest shift in an auto industry forced to realign by environmental and other pressures.

The Japanese automaker plans to provide GM with design information on its EV platform -- the base structure on which the body and key components are built.

Since a car's platform to a large extent determines its engineering, the automakers will be building very similar EVs under this partnership.

Carmakers, under increasing pressure to reduce the environmental impact of their products, are accelerating their push into electric vehicles. The need to keep costs down while transforming their lineups has pushed many industry players to collaborate in order to survive.

Honda is developing its e:Architecture platform for midsize EVs that are expected to hit North American showrooms by the late 2020s. GM will use the same platform.

In return, GM will share information on the development of its larger electrics.

The companies will sell EVs that share over 50% of their components in terms of cost. Only exterior and interior designs will differentiate the partners' vehicles.

In general, developing one EV model requires about 50 billion yen ($455 million), with batteries alone accounting for about 40% to 50% of the production cost. Converting production lines to cater to EVs costs about 10 billion yen to 15 billion yen per factory.

By sharing EV platforms, Honda and GM will be able to standardize motors, batteries, inverters and other key components. This kind of collaboration will bring cost savings through ordering large quantities of the same parts.

GM has vowed to phase out fossil fuel-powered cars and sell mostly zero-emission cars and trucks by 2035. Honda also is transitioning away from gasoline and diesel, with plans to sell only battery-powered and fuel cell vehicles by 2040.