Honda’s been a bit of a laggard in the EV game in the U.S., but it’s looking to change that, and the first sign of that shift is the Prologue, which the Japanese automaker offered a sketch of Wednesday.
The new, fully electric crossover is set to arrive in the U.S. and be the first of a wave of ultimately 30 EVs the company plans to produce globally by 2030. However, the Prologue is first of a slew of vehicles targeted at U.S. buyers. More will be coming from the expanding partnership between Honda and General Motors.
“We announced a plan two years ago, positioned as a smart strategy, to co-develop an electric vehicle with GM. What will result is not just a more efficient process, but a great looking new vehicle, the Honda Prologue,” said Mamadou Diallo, vice president of Auto Sales, American Honda Motor Co. Inc.
“Our dealers are excited about Prologue and the fact that it is just the first volume Honda EV, with more Honda engineered EVs we will begin building in North America coming to market in 2026.”
Prologue will be one of two BEVs set to rely on GM’s new “Ultium” batteries and skateboard-style platform. The second model will be sold through the Japanese automaker’s upscale Acura brand, Dave Gardner, American Honda’s executive vice president of national operations, said previously.
GM initially agreed to help Honda bring two all-electric vehicles to market, leading the powertrain development of both the Honda Prologue and the yet-unnamed Acura BEV. The Japanese company focused on exterior and interior design.
Last month, the two partners announced plans to expand their relationship, among other things targeting entry-level models that could help bring in more mainstream buyers. That was expected to yield new offerings for both Honda and GM starting under $30,000.
Honda wants to go from selling virtually no BEVs today to at least 2 million by the end of the decade. Versions of the GM Ultium platform will be essential to that expansive target, though Honda does plan to continue working on its own “eArchitecture.”
It will leverage some of GM’s technology but introduce some unique-to-Honda features, including its basic electric system. Looking forward, many industry experts believe that is one of the critical areas where automakers will be able to differentiate their all-electric products.
How many are expected
In North America, Honda has laid out an aggressive timeline of EV introductions based on three phases leading to 2030:
- 2024: Begin sales of the Honda Prologue, co-developed with GM
- 2026: Begin production and sales of Honda models based on the new Honda e:Architecture.
- 2027: Begin production and sales of a new series of affordable EVs, based on a new vehicle architecture co-developed with GM.
Based on these three phases, the Honda brand plans to sell nearly 500,000 EVs in North America by 2030.
The automaker plans to work with dealers on how best sell these 500K in new vehicles, including updating their dealerships to better handle EVs. This means some things like adding high-speed chargers, perhaps changing up the display space and getting the right tools in the hands of technicians so EVs can be serviced properly.