Honda Prologue 2024 announced as the brand’s electric SUV for the United States

The slowness of information on new electric SUVs from the Honda and Acura brands continues with this last drop of the information tap: the larger Honda model will be called the Prologue.

The Honda Prologue 2024 is set to arrive in 2024, and its name signifies its role as the forerunner of a series of new high-volume battery-electric vehicles from the Japanese brand. This includes a luxury and performance SUV for Acura, which is also slated to go on sale in 2024. No name for the Acura has yet been revealed.

Call the general manager

The point of all this sharing is to create a scale, which reduces the costs of various EV components, including batteries, for GM and Honda. Co-development also means shared costs, and the Honda and Acura SUVs will be built at a GM plant in North America specifically designed for the production of electric vehicles. This is expected to expand further and reduce manufacturing costs. The Prologue is rumored to be built at GM’s Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico, while the Acura EV will roll out of GM’s Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, which is currently being retooled to make electric vehicles such than the Cadillac Lyriq.

Same bones, different looks

Despite sharing many mechanical parts, electric vehicles from GM and Honda will be very different. The styling of the bodies and interiors of these vehicles will come from the respective design studio of each car manufacturer. We were told that the upcoming Honda Prologue was designed at Honda’s Los Angeles design studio to meet the expectations of North American customers.

There are few details on these upcoming North American-focused Honda and Acura electric SUVs. Both could be larger three-row family utility vehicles that are specific to the North American market or both could be smaller models aimed at serving multiple markets. Gardner only noted that the Prologue is designed to be highly competitive, with the functionality required to meet a variety of needs.

The expected annual sales volume is expected to be somewhere between the Honda Passport midsize SUV, of which 22,000 units have been sold through May 2021 in the United States, and the three-row Honda Pilot SUV, which Honda has sold. 62,000 of these models in the first five months of the year. Honda and Acura models are designed to stay true to the respective DNA of each brand: consumer for Honda, performance for Acura.

Honda plans to build its own electric vehicles and batteries

The Honda Prologue and its still unnamed Acura counterpart will use GM’s flexible EV architecture, but Honda plans to launch a new series of EV models in the second half of the decade based on its own, forthcoming, “e: Architecture”.

To be profitable, Honda knows that it must also manufacture its own batteries in North America. “Other markets around the world have a more robust battery production industry and that has to happen here in North America to move forward and meet the targets of reaching the volumes that everyone is looking to do.” , Gardner said. He refused to provide a deadline.

Honda does its own independent research on solid-state batteries. The industry is looking for solid-state batteries for the technology’s ability to provide longer driving range, as well as its lower costs. Honda will have a “demo line” to begin testing the technology during this fiscal year, as it aims to make solid-state batteries available by the end of the decade.

The history of Honda electric vehicles

Honda may be a leader in efficient vehicles with internal combustion engines (and its history with electric vehicles goes back decades), but the automaker has not been seen as a leader in electric vehicles in recent years, has admitted Gardner.

Honda’s New Global Electric Vehicle Goals

Now the automaker is catching up with Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050. In major markets, including North America, the goal is for BEV or vehicles electric fuel cells account for 40% of sales by 2030; 80 percent by 2035; and 100% by 2040.

Gardner wouldn’t say how much Honda is investing in electric vehicles, other than to note that R&D spending for the next six years will be 10% higher than in previous years.

In the short term, Honda’s strategy is to introduce a higher percentage of gasoline-electric hybrids in its model line.

“We know that people who have a good experience with a hybrid are likely to buy a BEV,” Gardner said. Building more hybrids in North America will help Honda prepare to build electric vehicles in the future. Currently, Honda builds the Accord, CR-V and Insight hybrids in the United States. Gardner wouldn’t share if Honda joined the electric pickup craze by adding electric motors and a battery to the Ridgeline pickup.

Work on fuel cells and autonomous vehicles continues

Honda’s broader electric vehicle strategy includes continued collaboration with GM on fuel cells. Honda has also partnered with GM and its Cruise Autonomous Vehicle brand since 2018. Cruise is preparing to launch the Cruise Origin robotaxi. The Japanese automaker will use the bones of the Origin for its own autonomous vehicle, which will feature a Honda-designed body and interior.

Honda also announced a joint venture with Hitachi to manufacture electric motors. Some Honda and Hitachi suppliers have merged to develop components for electric vehicles and automated vehicles. In China, Honda has formed an alliance with Chinese battery maker CATL, and the first CATL batteries will be integrated into an electric vehicle in the Chinese market next year.

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