Both automakers have the same goal. Why not save money and help each other?
Automakers won't be converting their entire lineups from internal combustion to pure electric in the short term, but the long term goal is obvious. Developing batteries powerful enough for passenger vehicles is neither easy nor cheap, so why not join forces to help offset the costs? That's what General Motors and Honda have done. The two automakers have issued a joint press release stating they've reached "an agreement for new advanced chemistry battery components, including the cell and module, to accelerate both companies' plans for all-electric vehicles."
It really boils down to developing the next generation battery, a component that'll need to deliver higher energy density encased in smaller packaging, and capable of faster charging times. This collaboration will mainly be geared towards the North American market. How the agreement will work, generally speaking, is that both automakers will work together to further advance GM's next generation battery system, and Honda will then be able to source the battery modules. Both companies will get what they need, a true win-win. "This new, multiyear agreement with Honda further demonstrates General Motors' capability to innovate toward a profitable electric portfolio," said Mark Reuss, GM vice president of global product development.
At the moment, the sole GM all-electric vehicle is the Chevrolet Bolt, but that will change starting in 2021 when an all-new, multi-use EV platform launches. GM and Honda previously worked together to produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system, slated to hopefully launch in 2020. "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, Honda's chief officer for automobile operations.