Honda’s first all-electric SUV for the North American market has been given its name, though you’ll still have to wait a while before you can actually put the GM-powered EV on your driveway. The 2024 Honda Prologue EV will be the first of the automaker’s new zero-emissions models, as it targets 40-percent of North American sales to be either battery-electric or hydrogen fuel cell by 2030.
By 2040, meanwhile, Honda is aiming for all of its sales to use those technologies, ousting gas completely. By 2050, the automaker says, it should be carbon-neutral across both product and corporate activities.
They’re fairly ambitious goals, but looking at Honda’s line-up currently it’s hard to imagine the automaker actually achieving them. The range of vehicles in the US and Canada right now lacks even a single all-electric model; Honda recently announced it would be retiring the Clarity line, with both plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hydrogen versions getting the chop. It had already killed off the Clarity BEV a few years back.
What Honda needs, then, is actual EVs to sell, and that’s what the Honda Prologue will be all about. It’s being built on GM’s Ultium platform for electric vehicles, after a deal between the two automakers, though it’ll be designed by Honda and tuned to drive as its buyers expect.
“The Prologue will provide our customers with a battery-electric SUV with the excellent functionality and packaging they’ve come to expect from Honda,” Dave Gardner, executive vice president of American Honda, said today. According to Honda, the e-SUV will have “versatility and driving range on par with our current lineup of rugged SUVs.”
We’ll see more details in the coming months, Honda promises, but the actual Prologue SUV itself won’t be arriving in US and Canadian dealerships until early 2024. That same year, meanwhile, there’ll also be a new electric Acura SUV, also using GM’s platform. Naming for that hasn’t been shared yet, but we’d expect it to be more aggressively styled than the Prologue, and have a greater focus on performance – as well as a higher price tag.
At the same time, though, Honda isn’t offsetting all its electric eggs into General Motors’ basket. The automaker has also been working on its own e:Architecture, a completely new platform intended for its own vehicles. However, that’s not expected to be ready for actual production vehicles until sometime in the second half of this decade, initially for the North American market and then spreading to other regions after that.
The 2024 Honda Prologue, then, will be late to the party compared to electric SUVs from other automakers. Still, that will come with a few benefits. Instrumental to GM’s Ultium plan, after all, is developing cheaper and more power-dense EV batteries, as it tries to shave away at the price premium which electric models still carry over their internal-combustion counterparts. While Ultium may be expected to show up imminently in the form of the GMC Hummer EV, that will be a premium product, initially with a six-figure sticker. By 2024, the hope is that Honda’s Prologue will be able to come in considerably cheaper.