Honda and GM Partnering on Next Gen Battery

Collaboration would deliver better-performing batteries for both companies’ electric vehicle models.

Two fierce competitors in the automotive industry are teaming to create innovative electric vehicle (EV) batteries for their North American electric vehicle (EV) models.

The two automakers are aiming for greater energy density: batteries that can store more energy in a given volume. This would allow for smaller battery packs that are easier to package without sacrificing range. They are also looking for ways to reduce charging times.

The companies also hope that economies of scale will help lower costs. Under the agreement, development work will focus on GM’s next-generation battery system. Honda will then source battery modules from GM. This will allow both manufacturers to continue to roll out distinct EV models while reducing their costs.

While the partners didn’t reveal specifically what sort of battery chemistry they plan to focus on, the general consensus is that the next big breakthrough will come from a lithium variant known as solid-state batteries.

GM and Honda Team Up to Develop Cutting-Edge Electric Vehicle Batteries

This isn’t the first time the two giants have worked together on green technology. They formed the industry’s first joint manufacturing venture to mass-produce an advanced hydrogen fuel system for delivery in 2020. The companies believe that advances through both partnerships will give them a competitive edge in the growing EV market.

“In addition to our ongoing joint development and production of fuel cells, this battery component collaboration will enable us to take a new step toward the realization of a sustainable society,” said Takashi Sekiguchi, chief officer for Automobile Operations and managing officer of Honda.

The two deals reflect a significant new direction in the automotive industry, where competitors are increasingly turning to partnerships and joint ventures to help accelerate the development of new technologies and keep costs down. Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi are working together on EV technology, and Japanese rivals Toyota and Mazda recently established a joint venture to do the same.

Both GM and Honda are investing heavily in the EV market. GM expects to be building 1 million rechargeable vehicles a year by 2026, and Honda anticipates that electrified cars will make up two-thirds of its global sales by 2030.

A battery that increases range, reduces recharge time and helps lower costs would help increase the appeal of EVs, as well as boost the competitiveness of both Honda and GM products.

Read more about the challenge faced by EV manufacturers in reducing charging times at The Tipping Point for Electric Vehicle Charging.