Japanese and Korean manufacturers Honda and LG join forces to manufacture electric batteries in the US
Honda and LG Energy said on Monday that they would jointly invest USD 4.4 billion to build an electric battery factory in the United States, which will exclusively supply Honda’s factories.
The project is due to start in early 2023, to begin mass production of lithium-ion batteries by the end of 2025, according to a joint statement from the two groups, which will set up a dedicated joint venture. The precise location of this future factory has not yet been finalized, but according to Bloomberg, it could be in Ohio. The Midwestern state is already home to several of Honda’s auto plants, which also produce cars for its premium Acura brand.
According to the release, the plant will have an annual production capacity of about 40 gigawatt hours (GWh). Japan’s number two carmaker, Honda, set itself the goal in 2021 of becoming 100% electric by 2040 worldwide.
To achieve this, the group announced in April that it would invest 5,000 billion yen (37 billion euros) in electrification over the next ten years. It plans to launch 30 electric models by 2030 in all its ranges. One of its key markets in North America, Honda, is already allied with US giant General Motors in electric vehicles and batteries, but this partnership is not exclusive.
LG Energy is a world leader in electric batteries and is already a close associate of General Motors, with whom it has four mega-projects for battery plants in the US. The South Korean company is also a partner of the manufacturers Stellantis (parent company of the Chrysler, Citroën, Fiat, Opel and Peugeot brands in particular) and Hyundai.
Thanks to Tesla’s success, the North American electric vehicle market is expanding rapidly and is increasingly encouraged by local authorities. Last week, the state of California adopted a law banning sales of new diesel and petrol cars from 2035, a first in the United States, and other states in the country are expected to follow.
Panasonic said in mid-July that it plans to build a new USD 4 billion electric battery factory in Kansas (central US), its second in the country after the first “gigafactory” it has operated in Nevada (west) with Tesla since 2017.
The Japanese company Panasonic is also planning to set up another battery factory in Oklahoma for USD 4 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal at the end of last week. Contacted by AFP, the Japanese firm has not confirmed this information for the moment.