Honda announced that it will co-develop new lithium-ion batteries with the Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa. The joint vehicle will be focused on making high-capacity and high-output lithium-ion batteries. Over the past 2-3 years, it was seen that there was a need for a dependable battery supply and also their own battery design. It allows them to make better products at a reduced cost.
Honda will be doing both of those things via its newest partnership with battery maker GS Yuasa, resulting in a joint venture being formed by the end of this year. According to Honda’s press release, the partnership between the automaker and battery company has been pursued to create “high capacity and high output lithium-ion batteries,” however, no specific specifications or design goals have been highlighted. The other key detail included in the release was that the partnership would also focus on “the supply chain for key raw materials,” potentially indicating that the companies would vertically integrate the development of necessary resources.
this is not Honda’s first battery partnership; it isn’t even the company’s first battery partnership this year. Honda announced just two weeks ago that it would be working with LG to establish a battery production location in the United States. While some have criticized Honda’s slower move towards electrification compared to western counterparts, the brand may be leading Japanese competitors such as Toyota and Nissan, who have not pursued battery production deals with the same vigor.
Honda may need electric offerings now more than ever, and its partners to create better batteries is crucial to that pursuit. Honda’s sales in North America plummeted in 2022, often attributed to supply chain issues that particularly impacted Asian automakers, but also due to a newer brand that has taken in many previous Honda customers, Tesla. According to recent survey data, Honda and Toyota were the leading brands that have lost customers to Tesla. As Honda attempts to right the ship and grow sales to match pre-2022 levels, dedication to electrification will be essential. However, without an electric offering, Honda will still face a significant challenge in growing sales in many western markets where electric offerings are becoming increasingly popular.
President and representative director of GS Yuasa International Ltd said, “Honda is striving to realize carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities Honda is involved in by 2050. Honda and GS Yuasa have already been working together on lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and this new collaboration will further accelerate Honda’s electrification strategies toward the achievement of our carbon neutrality goal.”