Ohio possible site for $4.4B Honda battery factory

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Honda Motor Co. will build a new lithium-ion battery plant for electric vehicles in the U.S. with Korean battery supplier LG Energy Solution, the companies said Monday.

The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported the new factory will be in Ohio — and state leaders broadly hinted at its relevance to Ohio.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohio is working with Honda and LG to win the location decision for the new facility.

“Ohio’s advanced manufacturing future is bright,” DeWine said. “With automakers moving to manufacture more and more electric vehicles, we want Honda to expand its operation in Ohio.

He added: “We are working with Honda and LG to ensure that they choose Ohio for this new electric battery plant.”

Honda has a deep footprint in Ohio, employing nearly 15,000 workers. The company has about 8,000 workers from the Miami Valley who work at its Anna plant and Troy warehouses and about 1,400 workers from Clark and Champaign counties work for the automaker.

JobsOhio, the state’s development arm, would not talk about its conversations with Honda officials.

“While JobsOhio does not share whether or not we are in project discussions with companies, any global leader in auto manufacturing would have to look at Ohio because of our many attributes, including a skilled workforce, comprehensive supply chain, and access to the North American market,” JobsOhio said in response to questions from the Dayton Daily News. “Ohio has had a long-standing relationship with Honda and is at the forefront of the next generation of advanced manufacturing. We defer any comment to Honda-LG.”

Honda and LG said in a joint statement they will invest a total of $4.4 billion in the plant, which could have an annual production capacity of some 40GWh.

The pouch-type batteries produced at the plant will be supplied solely to Honda plants in North America, the companies said.

“While the location for the joint venture plant is yet to be finalized, based on Honda’s plans for EV production in North America, the two companies aim to begin construction in early 2023, in order to enable the start of mass production of advanced lithium-ion battery cells by the end of 2025,” the companies said.

“We are not going to comment on speculation and we will share more details about the location at a later date,” said Chris Abbruzzese, a Honda spokesman in Ohio

LG and Honda are going forward “on the shared belief that expanding local electric vehicle production and ensuring the timely supply of batteries would put them in the best position to target the rapidly-growing North American EV market,” the companies said in their shared statement.

“Our joint venture with Honda, which has significant brand reputation, is yet another milestone in our mid- to long-term strategy of promoting electrification in the fast-growing North American market,” said Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution. “Since our ultimate goal is to earn our valued customers’ trust and respect, we aspire to position ourselves as a leading battery innovator, working with Honda in achieving its core initiatives for electrification, as well as providing sustainable energy solutions to discerning end consumers.”

Honda’s first manufacturing facility opened in Marysville in 1982 and the 4 million square-foot facility is the company’s largest in Ohio. Workers there assemble the Honda Accord along with the Acura TLX and ILX. Honda also operates a 2.1 million square-foot site in East Liberty where workers assemble the Honda CR-V and Acura RDX, and an engine plant in Anna that employs more than 2,800 workers. Honda manufactures its Acura NSX supercar at its Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville.

Honda’s investment in Ohio has been long ranging. The company recently opened a $124 million wind tunnel facility that contains one of the worlds most advanced wind tunnels and will allow the company to test several products, including race and electrical vehicles.

Construction for the 110,000 square foot facility that contains the wind tunnel began in 2017. It marks the company’s latest investment in Ohio, in which it has had a presence for over 40 years.

Staying with the story

Honda employs thousands of workers in this region. Count on the Dayton Daily News to report on the latest news from the manufacturer.

About the Author