Honda & LG Energy Solution to build US battery plant
Honda and LG Energy Solution have entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture for the production of batteries in the USA. The batteries will be used in Honda and Acura electric models in the North American market.
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Under the agreement, the Japanese carmaker and the South Korean battery supplier will invest a total of $4.4 billion in the plant, which is expected to offer an annual production capacity of about 40 GWh.
Construction of the battery factory is expected to begin in early 2023, with production scheduled to start by the end of 2025. The factory’s location has not yet been finalised. According to information from the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei, the new battery factory is to be built in Ohio, where Honda’s main plant in the USA is located.
The decision to jointly establish local production was apparently also made against the background of the new US regulations on electric car subsidies. Electric cars will only qualify for the full tax credit in the United States if they have been assembled and sourced raw materials from within North America.
Just a few days ago, Honda’s Acura brand announced its first all-electric model. The electric SUV will be called Acura ZDX and is scheduled for market launch in 2024. Acura provides a preview of the electric vehicle in the form of the Precision EV Concept. Like the Honda Prologue, the Acura ZDX will use the Ultium platform from General Motors. From 2026 onwards, the premium brand plans to launch further electric models based on Honda’s own electric architecture.
Honda itself is banking on three new all-electric vehicle platforms in its plan to achieve a sales volume of more than two million electric cars per year by 2030. The first of these is to debut as early as 2024. An electric model based on a new “large” platform will follow in North America in 2026. Then there is the recently announced new global platform in collaboration with General Motors for affordable electric vehicles. This vehicle basis is to be launched in 2027.
Update 13 January 2023
Honda and LG Energy Solution have established their announced joint venture for the production of electric car batteries in the USA. Under the provisional name L-H Battery Company, the joint venture, based in Jeffersonville in the US state of Ohio, plans to start construction of the announced battery cell production facility in Fayette County (Ohio) early this year. The factory is expected to be operational by the end of 2025 with an annual production capacity of approximately 40 GWh. All batteries produced by the new joint venture will be supplied exclusively to Honda plants in North America, the Japanese company wrote in the announcement.
51 per cent of the shares in L-H Battery Company are held by LGES, the remaining 49 per cent by Honda. Therefore, the Korean company also provide the CEO with Robert H. Lee. Lee is currently Executive Vice President, North America Regional Group Leader of LGES. He is joined as COO by Rick Riggle, an ex-plant manager of Honda Development and Manufacturing of America’s Anna Engine Plant.
“LG Energy Solution has all the right assets to make this joint venture a success, including the financial stability, quality, competitiveness, and production capacity with global operational expertise,” says Lee. “With two companies’ expertise combined, we will provide top quality batteries to ensure the successful launch of Honda EVs in North America, and grow with the community here in Ohio by creating high value jobs.”