Honda’s working on a new mid to large-sized electric SUV for the US market, the automaker announced today. The new vehicle, slated for release in 2025, will be built atop the automaker’s new Honda e Architecture EV platform. Honda had previously announced vehicles on its own platform would be coming in 2026, so it looks like the automaker’s a year ahead of schedule.
The release of Honda’s new SUV will follow after the automaker’s upcoming Prologue and Acura ZDX SUVs, which are planned for release in 2024. Honda’s Prologue will be a mid-sized SUV that’s about the size of a Passport, and a bit larger than a compact CR-V. Honda could use a bigger electric SUV with three-row seating, which is becoming a hot segment with the incoming family-hauling Kia EV9 and the new king of the mountain: the Rivian R1S.
Both the in-development Prologue and the ZDX are codeveloped with GM and run on the American automaker’s Ultium EV platform. But now, Honda’s got a new SUV that’s all its own, alongside plans to further extend its partnership with GM and build several more “affordable” EVs based on Ultium 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 an over-the-air (OTA) software-updatable platform called Electric and Electronic, or E&E architecture for short. E&E will “facilitate in-vehicle software” and the UX/digital services connectivity” — which “will be an increasing part” of Honda’s business moving forward, according to an email sent to The Verge today by American Honda Motor Company spokesperson Chris Martin.
Electric automakers like Tesla and Rivian also support OTA updates that change more than their infotainment system, and rely on in-house software to build a full EV experience for customers. Honda will need to match these competitors to make the new SUV attractive and functional. It will also need to compete with GM’s own UX — which will not have Apple’s CarPlay to hide behind in the future.
As for the Honda GM partnership, it will also be extending to manufacturing strategies, as the automakers will work together to “increase competitiveness in the areas of core electrification components.” Using the Ultium platform means Honda will use GM’s current pouch-style (as opposed to cylindrical cell) Ultium batteries for its announced EVs. Meanwhile, GM is working to build a $3 billion US-based EV battery plant in conjunction with Samsung SDI, following another four domestic battery factories that GM currently has in construction.
But Honda isn’t only counting on Ultium batteries; the automaker is working with LG Energy Solution to begin a new battery production joint venture before the end of the year. And for the future, it’s exploring its own solid-state battery tech, along with a semi-solid-state joint development with SES. Honda plans to have a demonstration line of solid-state batteries next year, and plans to introduce them in new EVs coming in “the second half of the 2020s,” according to press materials.
Honda also announced today it will be re-tooling three Honda plants in Ohio to prepare production lines for electrification and become its North American EV production hub. The automaker plans to build 2 million EVs annually by 2023, and only build electric and fuel-cell vehicles globally by 2040.