Honda on Monday announced that an electric crossover it is developing on a platform sourced from General Motors will be called the Prologue, and will start sales in the United States as a 2024 model.
In a statement, Honda said the name was chosen to reflect that the new crossover will only be the first of several electric vehicles headed to U.S. showrooms in the coming years. Honda has a target of reaching 40% EV sales in North America by 2030 and 100% by 2040.
While Honda is developing its own dedicated EV platform known as the e:Architecture, for models launching from the second half of the decade, the automaker will initially rely on GM's Ultium electric-vehicle platform and battery technology for the Prologue, as well as an Acura crossover also due for the 2024 model year.
The Ultium platform supports a variety of vehicle types ranging from small cars to large pickup trucks, crossovers and SUVs, as well as outputs of more than 1,000 hp. The Ultium batteries come in sizes ranging from 50-200 kilowatt-hours, the latter good for over 400 miles of range.
2024 Honda Prologue
The first Ultium-based vehicle is the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup truck, which starts production this fall.
GM will also be responsible for production of the Ultium-based electric crossovers for Honda and Acura, while the Japanese automakers will handle design and tuning. The Acura, which is expected to be the bigger of the two crossovers, is expected to be built at GM's Spring Hill Manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, where GM will start production of the Ultium-based 2023 Cadillac Lyriq electric crossover in early 2022. The Honda is tipped to enter production at GM's plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, where the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox are built.
Since their original agreement, Honda and GM have further strengthened ties in North America. The two last year also proposed an alliance in the area of platform and powertrain sharing, as well as in R&D, purchasing, and connected services. The two automakers have also collaborated in the area of fuel cells since 2013.
Honda is also a key investor in Cruise, the self-driving startup controlled by GM, and has been picked to oversee operation of Cruise's first self-driving service in Japan. Timing for the service's launch is unclear at present.