First Acura electric SUV arrives in 2024, Honda confirms [Update]

Honda has confirmed that one of the all-new electric vehicles it announced for the U.S. and Canada in April 2020 will be an Acura model. These will be “large-sized” electric vehicles to launch in North America as MY2024 vehicles.

The new Honda electric car will arrive as the ‘Honda Prologue‘ in early 2024. The first Acura electric SUV (untitled) will debut in the 2024 calendar year and a strong possibility is that Acura is targeting Tesla Model Y and Audi Q4 e-tron customers with comparable features and range.

The launch of the two large electric SUVs co-developed with GM as MY2024 vehicles, one under the Honda brand and the other under Acura, will mark the beginning of the Japanese automakers’ EV blitz in the USA and Canada.

Acura electric SUV size & expected specifications

General Motors and Honda have tied up for two co-developed Honda EVs based on the GM global EV platform. Both electric SUVs would feature GM’s Ultium Lithium-ion batteries and Ultium Drive electric motors, “but everything above the platform will be uniquely Honda and uniquely Acura,” Dave Gardner, Executive Vice President, Honda (USA), told Automotive News in March 2021.

The Acura electric SUV could be bigger than the Lyriq, which is a mid-size SUV. GM markets the Lyriq as a BEV alternative to the XT5 (189.60 in. x 74.90 in. x 66.10 in.).

In the Acura line-up, the electric SUV co-developed with GM could serve as a BEV alternative to the Acura MDX. Given the year of SOP, a range of 300-350 miles would become achievable from a Cadillac Lyriq-sized electric SUV sitting on GM’s third-gen EV platform and packing its Ultium batteries. A dual-motor AWD setup should be available, and the battery pack options should include units between 70 kWh and 90 kWh capacity.

Acura electric SUV production

In January, Automotive News reported that GM plans to manufacture the Acura electric crossover at its facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee, from 2024. General Motors will manufacture the Cadillac Lyriq at this factory from 2022 and will invest $2 billion in the plant to build pure electric vehicles. The Lyriq will be the first EV to roll off the production line.

New plant for Ultium Cells in Spring Hill

Ultium Cells battery cell plant Spring Hill Tennessee rendering
Ultium Cells’ new plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee could make the battery cells of the Acura SUV. Image Source: GM

Ultium Cells, a joint venture of GM and LG Energy Solution, plans to build a new battery cell manufacturing plant in the USA. Located in Spring Hill, Tennessee, it will be an approximately 2.8 million-square-foot facility constructed on land leased from GM. Construction of the new battery cell factory will begin immediately, the company announced on April 16, 2021. 

The inauguration of the new Ultium Cells factory in the USA will take place in late 2023. That would be just before the series production of the Acura electric SUV commences. Battery cells made here will be used for the vehicles manufactured at GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant, Ultium Cells said in the announcement.

Honda North America EV strategy

Honda wants EVs and FCEVs to account for 40% of annual sales in North America by 2030 and increase that number to 80% by 2035. By 2040, it aims to convert the entire line-up to EVs/FCEVs. The company plans to launch a series of new EV models built on ‘e:Architecture,’ which is “a completely new EV platform led by Honda,” beginning in the second half of the decade. North America will get these models before other regions.

Honda has its reasons to develop its first high-volume electric SUVs for the U.S. on a borrowed platform. The Japanese automaker will save on development and production costs and secure itself from any risky capital investments in the new technology until the market is ready to adopt EVs on a large scale.

Using an existing platform, in this case one from GM, should allow Honda to launch models faster than developing programs from scratch. What the company saves in the cost, it can better utilize to develop the e:Architecture platform and the models it plans to base on it.

Acura not shunning hybrids yet

Before Honda goes full steam on EVs, it wants to popularize hybrids. Gardner told Automotive News in an interview on June 12, 2021, that a large owner base of the company’s hybrid models can become the potential customers of EVs when they start arriving around the middle of the decade. Two weeks later, in the press announcement on June 28, he said: “Our strategy is focused on introducing a higher percentage of hybrids in core models in the near term.”

Acura electric car FAQs

When is the launch of the first Acura electric car?

The untitled Acura EV will be introduced in 2024, the company has confirmed.

What are the specs of the Acura electric SUV?

Thus far we know that the SUV will ride on GM’s vehicle platform & use Ultium batteries. Expect at least 300 miles of range & a dual-motor AWD.

What is the expected price of the Acura electric SUV?

We expect the well-equipped Acura EV variant to be priced north of USD 50,000.

Featured Image Source: Acura