Honda and LG Energy Solution are negotiating the construction of a battery factory for electric vehicles in the USA with a production capacity of 40 gigawatt-hours per year. However, nothing has been decided yet.
The Korea Herald writes, citing insiders, that open points such as the date of foundation, the location and the ownership structure are to be clarified in the next six months. If the companies reach an agreement, the battery factory could cost up to four trillion won (about three billion euros), according to the report. Reuters also reports this figure, but refers to a report by the South Korean business newspaper Maeil.
Honda USA would not comment on the information to Reuters. LGES released a statement neither confirming nor denying the reports. “We are discussing various ways to work with automakers, including the formation of joint ventures, but nothing has been decided yet,” the battery maker said.
If the joint venture were to materialise, it would be one of the rare partnerships between a Korean and Japanese company – the two countries’ relationship is historically complicated. Technically, however, the battery cooperation would make sense: Honda is relying on General Motors’ Ultium platform for future electric cars in the US. GM, in turn, operates the Ultium Cells joint venture with LG for the series production of battery cells for this electric car platform.
According to the Korea Herald, one of the sources stated that the reason why Honda decided against a cooperation with Japanese battery manufacturers such as Panasonic was competitiveness. Here, Japanese companies would lose ground to Korean battery manufacturers.
Honda had published its BEV sales targets for North America in September 2021. In 2030, the Japanese company wants to sell 500,000 battery-electric cars in the sales region, and in 2040 only electric cars are to be offered in North America. The first model called Prologue, which is to debut in 2024 on the basis of GM, is to be followed by further models – but then on the basis of the company’s own e:Architecture electric car platform.
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