Asahi Kasei to build battery separator plant in Canada

The Japanese technology group Asahi Kasei has unveiled plans to build a plant for lithium-ion battery separators in Canada. The plant will be built in the Ontario province and start production in 2027. Japanese car manufacturer Honda will become an important partner for the plant.

Image: Asahi Kasei

The total investment for the new factory amounts to around one billion euros. Asahi Kasei expects the Canadian federal government and the provincial government of Ontario to provide financial support for this investment.

The plant will manufacture and coat ‘Hipore’ wet process separators for lithium-ion batteries (LIB). Asahi Kasei has signed an agreement in principle with Honda for the plant. Both companies are currently examining the establishment of a joint venture for the production of Hipore separators for batteries in electric cars from Honda and other manufacturers for the North American market. Honda itself is reportedly on the verge of announcing a major investment in Canada for the production of electric cars and batteries.

Asahi Kasei and Honda have reached an agreement in principle based on the common understanding that it is essential to establish a supply chain for the stable supply of high-performance batteries for the North American plug-in electric vehicle market, which is expected to grow in the medium to long term. According to Asahi Kasei, studies to establish a joint venture to manufacture Hipore separators for batteries in electric vehicles from Honda and other vehicle manufacturers for the North American market are progressing.

“To achieve carbon neutrality, Honda is targeting 100% of global sales from EVs and FCVs by 2040,” said Manabu Ozawa, Managing Executive Officer of Honda. “The separator is an extremely important component that contributes to higher performance and durability of batteries that are essential to EVs. We are very excited to partner with Asahi Kasei, having outstanding technological capability and broad expertise regarding separators. This will allow us to realize highly competitive EVs that can meet future growing demand in the North American market.”

“The Hipore business will play an important role in Asahi Kasei’s growth over the medium term,” added Hiroyoshi Matsuyama, Senior Executive Officer of Asahi Kasei. “Capturing market growth in North America will be essential for us. This partnership with Honda, having a rich track record in the North American automotive market and aggressively electrifying its vehicle lineup, allows us to make a meaningful contribution to improvement of LIB performance in light of anticipated growth in the electric vehicle market and the energy transition in North America.”

Asahi Kasei announced an expansion of its battery separator production last October. The capacity expansion in Charlotte (North Carolina), Hyuga in the Japanese province of Miyazaki and Pyeongtaek in South Korea will enable the company to supply coated battery separators for up to 1.7 million electric vehicles per year from 2026. Asahi Kasei states that it is investing around 250 million euros in this project.


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