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Honda to spend $11 billion on four EV factories in North America

2024-04-29 10:50:49

Honda announced today that it will spend $11 billion to expand its electric vehicle manufacturing presence in North America. The Japanese automaker already has a number of factories in the US, Mexico, and Canada, and it's this last one that will benefit from the expansion, with four EV-related plants planned for Ontario.

Honda says it has begun evaluating requirements for what it's calling an "innovative and environmentally responsible" EV factory and a standalone EV battery plant in Alliston, Ontario, which is already home to Honda's two existing Canadian manufacturing facilities.

Additionally, the automaker wants to set up another two sites as joint ventures. One will be a plant that processes cathode active materials and their precursors—the various elements like nickel and manganese that are combined with lithium in lithium-ion batteries—set up in a partnership with POSCO Future M, a South Korean battery material and chemical company. (POSCO is already working with General Motors on another joint venture battery precursor material facility in Betancour, Quebec, that is supposed to become operational in 2026.)

A second joint venture will be a partnership with Asahi Kasei, which will manufacture battery separators, the material that keeps the anode and cathode apart. The locations of these two joint ventures have not yet been announced.

Honda thinks it will be able to start making EVs in Ontario in 2028 and says the assembly plant will have the capacity to build 240,000 EVs per year. Meanwhile, the battery plant is planned to have an annual output of 36 GWh.

"Honda is making progress in our global initiatives toward the realization of our 2050 carbon neutrality goal," said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe. "In North America, following the initiative to establish our EV production system capability in the US, we will now begin formal discussions toward the establishment of a comprehensive EV value chain here in Canada, with the support of the governments of Canada and Ontario. We will strengthen our EV supply system and capability with an eye toward a future increase in EV demand in North America."

These investments in EV manufacturing by Honda are in addition to $700 million that it has spent retooling some of its factories in Ohio for electrification, plus a joint venture battery factory with LG Energy Solutions, also in Ohio, that has risen in cost to $4.4 billion. Honda says it expects to begin production of an electric sedan, shown off at CES earlier this year, in Ohio in late 2025. The brand currently has a single EV for the US market—the Honda Prologue—which shares one of GM's Ultium platforms. It is also developing an EV with Sony under the Afeela brand.