Honda is working on a new mid-to-large electric SUV for the US market, the automaker announced today. The new vehicle, slated for release in 2025, will be built on the automaker’s new Honda e Architecture EV platform. Honda previously announced that vehicles on its own platform would arrive in 2026, so it looks like the automaker is a year ahead of schedule.
The release of Honda’s new SUV will follow after the automaker’s upcoming Prologue and Acura ZDX SUVs, slated for release in 2024. Honda’s Prologue will be a mid-size SUV that’s about the size of a passport and a bit larger than a compact CR-V. Honda could use a larger electric SUV with three-row seats, which is becoming a hot segment with the new Kia EV9 and the new king of the mountain: the Rivian R1S.
Both the in-development Prologue and the ZDX are co-developed with GM and run on the US automaker’s Ultium EV platform. But now Honda has a new SUV of its own, alongside plans to further expand its partnership with GM and build several more “affordable” Ultium-based electric vehicles for sale in “2027 and beyond.”
The upcoming 2025 SUV, with its new Honda e architecture, will also debut with a new original vehicle operating system and over-the-air (OTA) software platform called Electrical and Electronic Architecture, or E&E for short. . E&E will “facilitate in-vehicle software” and UX/digital services connectivity” – which will “be a growing part” of Honda’s business in the future, according to an email sent to The edge today by American Honda Motor Company spokesman Chris Martin.
Electric automakers like Tesla and Rivian also support OTA updates that change more than just their infotainment system and rely on in-house software to create a full EV experience for customers. Honda will have to match these competitors to make the new SUV attractive and functional. It will also have to compete with GM’s own UX – which won’t have Apple’s CarPlay to hide behind in the future.
As for the Honda GM partnership, it will also extend to manufacturing strategies, as the automakers will work together to “increase competitiveness in core electrification component areas.” Using the Ultium platform means Honda will use GM’s current pocket-style (as opposed to cylindrical cell) Ultium batteries for its announced electric vehicles. Meanwhile, GM is working to build a $3 billion electric vehicle battery plant in the United States in conjunction with Samsung SDI, following four other domestic battery plants that GM currently has under construction.
But Honda doesn’t just rely on Ultium batteries; the automaker is working with LG Energy Solution to start a new battery production joint venture before the end of the year. And for the future, it is exploring its own solid-state battery technology, as well as semi-solid joint development with SES. Honda plans to have a line of solid-state demonstration batteries next year and expects to introduce them in new upcoming electric vehicles in “the second half of the 2020s”, according to press materials.
Honda also announced today that it will retool three Honda factories in Ohio to prepare production lines for electrification and become its North American electric vehicle production hub. The automaker plans to build 2 million electric vehicles a year by 2023 and only build electric and fuel cell vehicles globally by 2040.