Not if you’re planning on leasing a Clarity Electric, of course, though future iterations of Honda’s greenest model could use what General Motors is pushing. Which is: a far more energy dense battery.
On Thursday, the two automakers announced a partnership to develop smaller, longer-ranged batteries for use in electric vehicles, primarily those sold in North America. Once the two achieve a breakthrough, GM will become Honda’s supplier.
By developing “advanced chemistry battery components,” meaning the cell and module itself, the automakers hope to market an EV battery pack with “higher energy density, smaller packaging and faster charging capabilities” than those currently on the market.
Because of a lack of battery room beneath its do-everything platform, the fully electric version of Honda’s Clarity sedan boasts a measly 89 miles of driving range. No wonder it’s offering such an attractive lease. While some products in the automaker’s EV pipeline, like the production version of the Urban EV Concept, require a small footprint but usable driving range to attract a younger, less affluent demographic, there’s a need for green family haulers with enough range to haul three kids and their crap to grandma’s house a state over. This typically necessitates a large, heavy, and expensive battery pack, plus a hefty MSRP.
Honda’s not alone in this need. Increasingly, automakers who haven’t invested copious R&D dollars into electrified vehicle technology are simply partnering with other automakers to make it happen. Witness Subaru’s fruitful pair-up with Toyota.
GM and Honda aren’t meeting up for a first-time tryst, either. The two automakers already have a joint manufacturing pact for the creation of affordable hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Executives from both automakers placed their names on a joint media release, emphasizing the most recent partnership’s goal of achieving nice-sounding things like sustainability and mobility. We love mobility around here.