Today, Honda announced a major investment in the production of electric vehicles and batteries in the United States. The company is the latest automaker to take this path to meet the requirements associated with the new EV tax credit.

The goal is to turn Ohio into Honda’s “EV Hub.”

The investment doesn’t appear to change Honda’s plan to launch its first electric car in the U.S. – Prologue – in 2024 thanks to a partnership with GM, its first EV was built from scratch in 2026.

But now this new electric car, which will appear in 2026, will be produced locally.

There are two main parts to this announcement today. First, Honda is investing $700 million in three separate plants in Ohio to convert to electric vehicle production:

The announcement, which comes 45 years after Honda announced the opening of its first manufacturing plant in Ohio on October 11, 1977, transforms Honda’s Marysville Automotive Plant (MAP), East Liberty Automotive Plant (ELP) and Anna Engine Plant (AEP) for an electrified future, including the creation of more than 300 new jobs. Honda plans to begin production and sales of Honda electric vehicles in North America in 2026 based on the new Honda e:Architecture. The $700 million retooling will allow AEP to produce a battery case that will mate with battery modules from the JV plant on the assembly line at MAP, with a complete battery pack that will then be installed in electric vehicles manufactured by both companies’ partners. MAP and ELP.

The second part of the announcement is Honda and LG Energy Solutions’ joint venture to build a new battery factory in Fayette County, Ohio:

Honda will receive the battery modules from the new joint venture (JV) between Honda and LGES, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. This manufacturing joint venture represents a commitment to invest $3.5 billion in Fayette County, Ohio, and will employ 2,200 employees to produce battery packs that will be supplied to Honda’s electric vehicle manufacturing plants.

Construction is expected to begin early next year and should be completed by the end of 2024.

The goal is to set up production of “advanced lithium-ion pack-type cells” with a total annual capacity of 40 GWh.

Electrek’s Take

Like many similar announcements we’ve seen over the past few months, it’s likely prompted by local EV assembly and battery manufacturing requirements for the federal EV tax credit.

This is a significant investment on Honda’s part, but as I said in my last post their EV schedule in North Americait may still be too late for the Japanese automaker, with only two U.S. models until 2026, one of which uses GM technology.

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https://electrek.co/2022/10/11/honda-major-ev-battery-production-investment-us/

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