Honda Prologue Electric Crossover Using Ultium Platform On The Way11
The upcoming electric crossover model from Honda, which will use General Motors’ Ultium battery pack design, may be called the Honda Prologue.
In April, Honda filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to reserve the ‘Prologue’ name for use on “land vehicles, name automobiles, battery electric vehicles, and structural parts for the foregoing.” It now seems as though this name may be used on the automaker’s first U.S.-bound electric crossover, which was previously confirmed to use GM’s Ultium battery pack design and Ultium Drive family of electric motors.
American Honda announced last March that it had entered a tech-sharing partnership with GM that would allow it to tap the automaker’s Ultium battery and motor technology for two future electric crossover models, one of which would fall under the Honda brand and the other falling under the Acura luxury brand. A separate report published this year indicated the Acura EV would be built alongside the Cadillac Lyriq at the GM Spring Hill Assembly plant in Tennessee, while the Honda model would be produced at the GM Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico. GM said in April that it would invest more than $1 billion USD in its Ramos Arizpe plant to re-tool the sprawling assembly plant to produce EVs.
Dave Gardner, executive vice president of national operations at American Honda, said earlier this year that while the new electric crossover models will utilize GM battery and motor technology, “everything above the platform will be uniquely Honda and uniquely Acura.” This would suggest the Honda Prologue crossover would not utilize a GM platform or other GM parts bin components and would only rely on GM components for the battery and powertrain.
GM and Honda have a history of collaborating on clean vehicle technology, which began with a partnership to jointly develop next-generation hydrogen fuel cell technology back in 2013. Honda is also a major backer in GM’s Cruise autonomous vehicle subsidiary and plans to eventually deploy autonomous Cruise vehicles on public roads in Japan. The automakerjoined GM’s battery cell development efforts in 2018, as well, and has been working closely with the Detroit-based automaker to accelerate the development of its Ultium battery technology.
The Honda Prologue EV and the unnamed Acura EV are expected to arrive for the 2024 model year.
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Just as I predicted.
There’s a bit of contradiction in the article. First, the title suggests Honda will use the Ultium platform. Then you call out a statement by Dave Gardner clearly saying Honda will not share a platform with GM, only battery and motors.
So what’s correct?
From my understanding, Ultium is the batteries/drive motors. The platform would be BEV3 (Lyriq) or BT1 (Hummer EV). So Honda could use Ultium while utilizing their own platform to put Ultium inside of.
Excellent. That clears things up for me. Thanks Jonathan.
The only thing is, Dave Gardner (executive vice president of national operations at American Honda) is quoted saying, “everything above the platform will be uniquely Honda and uniquely Acura.” By saying “everything above” he is not including the platform and would seem to indicate that everything from the platform down will not be uniquely Honda/Acura. Confusing.
Yeah, that is. He’s probably trying to put more of a focus on what Honda is capable of making their own (design, material usage for the interior, etc.).
Like all salesmen and politicians he’s trying to say nothing – while appearing to say something. That’s the art. Get you to think he’s making a statement without actually saying anything. Honda, being a proud designer of fine automobiles doesn’t have the scale to sink tens of billions into electric vehicle platforms. GM made huge changes to their way of doing business to make that investment. The sheet metal and interior will probably be Honda designed. My guess is that everything else will be early identical to GM versions of the same size vehicle, including the VIP communication backbone that GM rolled out with BEVs in mind. Honda will probably tune the motor “drives” – the electric device that controls electrical motors- themselves. One of the cool things about going to electric motors is you can get vastly different performance profiles out of the same motor with different drive parameters.
Here is what I think is going to happen and what he is not trying to say.
Honda will use the Ultium platform but will have it configured to their specific application.
GM will do the same as in each model the motors and batteries will vary for the size shape and needs of that vehicle. This is not a one platform fits all.
Honda will use their own body design. But Honda will try to distance themselves from the use of the GM platform by claiming it is not the same thing as what GM is using because it is arranged differently for their model.
So yes it will be the same Ultium platform technology but no it will not be the very same unit under the Cadillac.
That is the thing with the Ultium platform as while the same tech is used it can be used in a number of variations to created different use platforms and to package it differently in each vehicle.
Same sandwich different lunch box.
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