Honda, LG Energy Plan $4.4B EV Battery Factory in Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Honda Motor Company and LG Energy Solution announced Monday that they plan to build a $4.4 billion electric vehicle battery factory in Ohio.
Though the companies have yet to designate a location for the facility, they said in a joint statement that they intend to begin construction next year and start production at the factory by the end of 2025.
Honda currently operates a manufacturing plant near Marysville, Ohio. Opened in 1982, it is considered one of the most integrated and flexible vehicle production facilities in North America housing operations running from stamping and plastics injection molding to painting, sub-assembly and assembly.
“Ohio’s advanced manufacturing future is bright,” said Gov. Mike DeWine in response to the announcement.
”With automakers moving to manufacture more and more electric vehicles, we want Honda to expand its operation in Ohio,” the first-term Republican governor said. “For almost 40 years, Ohio has been at the center of Honda’s North American vehicle production, and we are working with Honda and LG to ensure that they choose Ohio for this new electric battery plant.”
Since the Biden administration took office, the federal government has pursued a number of policies to have more electric vehicle and battery manufacture occur in the U.S.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a $430 billion climate, health care and tax bill, into law. It would, among other things, make electric vehicles assembled outside North America ineligible for tax credits.
LG Energy, which is based in South Korea, said the joint venture will produce about 40GWh in batteries annually to power electric vehicles under the Honda and Acura brand names.
At current battery capacity, that would suggest producing enough batteries to power about 700,000 vehicles.
The Japanese automaker, which doesn’t offer a mass-market electric vehicle in the U.S. at present, previously announced that it plans to produce nothing but electric vehicles and fuel-cell cars worldwide by 2040.
By comparison, Honda’s most direct competitors in the U.S. market, Hyundai Motor Co., Korea, and Volkswagen, AG, both have mass-market electric vehicles on the market.
While joint ventures like the Honda/LG Energy partnership are becoming more and more common, a number of battery manufacturers are also striking out on their own to serve what they see as a booming market in the decades to come.
Just last week, Panasonic Holdings Corps., a supplier to electric vehicle maker Tesla, Inc., revealed it is in discussions to build a new $4 billion EV battery plant in Oklahoma.
In July, Panasonic announced it is building a $4 billion EV battery plant in De Soto, Kansas.
Both facilities would be close enough to serve Tesla’s new EV factory in Austin, Texas.
Panasonic and Tesla already jointly operate the so-called “gigafactory,” a lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle component factory in Storey County, Nevada, east of Reno.
Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.
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