The Honda Prologue EV will mark the beginning of a new era at Honda, especially in the U.S. and Canada, for which it has already announced some specific information. Here are five things you need to know about the new Honda electric SUV:
1. Not the first Honda electric SUV
You read it right. The Honda Prologue EV isn’t the first mass-market Honda electric SUV. The company has already developed electric SUVs derived from the Honda HR-V, called VE-1, X-NV, and the GAC-Honda M-NV, but offers them only in China (through its local JV partners). The Prologue is true to its name in North America, though, as it will mark the beginning of a blitz of Honda BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) models in the region.
2. American origins
The Honda Prologue SUV will be American technology underneath a Japanese shell or top hat. In April 2020, Honda and GM formed an agreement to develop two EVs for Honda jointly. As per this agreement, the two co-developed EVs will ride on GM’s third-generation global EV platform and use the same partner company’s Ultium batteries.
The third-generation global EV platform and Ultium batteries can deliver EVs with outstanding capabilities, which the GMC Hummer EV and GMC Hummer EV SUV have already shown. We’re talking about battery packs with up to 800 V voltage and 200 kWh battery energy content, up to 350 kW fast charging rate, 400 miles of range, and 0-60 mph acceleration time of as low as three seconds. The Honda Prologue EV won’t get the best of what’s technically possible, as it needs to stay affordable. But what we can take from these highlights is that whatever best Honda needs for the Prologue SUV, GM will be able to deliver.
3. Designed at Honda
Honda will design the exterior and interior of the Prologue SUV. It plans to borrow only the core components from GM, and so, rest assured, the Prologue SUV should look like a true Honda.
4. Luxury cousin
The Honda Prologue EV will have a luxury cousin from Acura. The untitled Acura electric SUV is the second EV which Honda plans to co-develop with General Motors.
5. Made in the USA
Production of the Honda Prologue EV and its Acura offshoot will take place in the USA. However, GM will make these electric SUVs, not Honda. The Japanese automaker expects to launch the Prologue SUV in early 2024 and introduce the all-electric Acura SUV in the same calendar year. So, it may unveil the former in late 2023. We expect the Honda SUV to compete with the VW ID.4 and cost around USD 38,000 in the base configuration.
6. Several more Honda EVs to follow
At a press briefing on July 16, 2021, Honda global CEO Toshihiro Mibe said that the company is open to forming an alliance if that allows it to achieve its goals early. Electrification is not commercially feasible right now, Mibe said. So, a technical alliance with an automaker can help Honda take some burden off the costs involved in its transition in the early years.
A Reuters report says that the Japanese automaker will use the opportunity of the switch to zero-emission vehicles to review the existing product line-up, suggesting that non-performing models would get the axe during the transition period as part of cost-cutting.
Once the volumes pick up, Honda can switch to indigenous products. In the second half of the decade, it plans to release new EV models based on a new indigenously developed EV platform called e:Architecture. These models will go on sale first in North America before other regions. The company has set a target of increasing the sales ratio of EVs and FCEVs in North America to 40% by 2030. It aims to increase that figure to 80% by 2035 and ultimately transition to a zero-emission brand in the region by 2040.
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