Can other automakers team up to tackle Tesla?
If you can’t defeat them on your own, you may be able to team up with someone else to defeat them. While old automakers are struggling to catch up with Tesla, many are looking into new collaborations to spread the cost of developing new technologies.
Above: GM and Honda join forces to leverage the same electric vehicle platform to move forward (Source: GM)
The old brands are belatedly accelerating their transition to electric vehicles and seem to find this a painful process. One of their greatest challenges is to keep costs at a level that enables them to sell new models at a profit. In a way, they are caught between the rock of high battery costs and the difficult task of keeping EV prices low enough to attract buyers.
Corresponding Nikkei Asia, It costs about $ 455 million to develop a new model of electric vehicle, and it costs about $ 90-135 million per factory to move production lines to build electric vehicles. Batteries account for 40 to 50% of production costs.
Several automakers have teamed up to share their EV platforms to standardize motors, batteries, inverters, and other key components and reduce costs through economies of scale.
Above: Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe talks about the company’s partnership with GM in the electric vehicle space (YouTube: Bloomberg Finance and Markets)
The Nissan / Renault / Mitsubishi alliance has developed a joint EV platform and plans to distribute around 70% of the engines, batteries and other EV components between the three brands. Toyota, Suzuki and Daihatsu have partnered to develop electrified commercial vehicles. Volkswagen and Ford teamed up in June to develop electric and autonomous vehicle technology.
Honda and GM announced plans to jointly develop two new electric vehicles April 2020. Vehicles with Honda nameplates are built on GM’s Ultium platform at GM plants in North America. More recently, Nikkei Asia reported that the two automakers have a new plan to produce EVs for the North American market based on Honda’s e: Architecture platform.
This would be a puzzling role reversal, and it just seems to be a rumor right now. Darryll Harrison, GM’s Head of Global EV / AV Communications, told me, “General Motors and Honda have only one BEV platform agreement related to Ultium. In addition, we cannot comment on speculation. ”