On October 11, 2022, Honda and LG Energy Solution announced a plan to build a $3.5 billion plant in Ohio, exclusively devoted to building batteries for Honda and Acura electric vehicles. In addition, Honda will spend an additional $700 million to outfit three of its existing Ohio factories for electric vehicle and component production.
Together, the combination of the new battery plant and the expansion of existing factories to build EVs in Ohio are expected to create 2,527 new jobs in the Buckeye State. Given Honda’s long history of manufacturing in Ohio—which started with motorcycles, let’s not forget—it's not hard to understand why this location choice was made. Of course, the state offering somewhere around $156 million in tax incentives to Honda to make this kind of investment also probably didn’t hurt.
Although the Marysville Motorcycle Plant is no more, the moto- and automaker has very active automotive facilities in Marysville, East Liberty, and Anna. Under the current plans, all three of these facilities will receive retooling to make EV and component manufacturing possible.
Construction of the new Honda and LG battery plant is scheduled to start in 2023, and be completed by the end of 2024. American Honda Motor Company executive vice president Bob Nelson told the Columbus Dispatch that the facility location, in the Mid-West Mega Commerce Center near Jeffersonville, was chosen for multiple reasons. Among these were proximity to the existing Honda plants in the state, availability of labor in the area, and accessibility of resources.
The date of this announcement was no accident, either, as it marked the 45th anniversary of the day that Honda first announced the details of its Maryville facility in the state. In a way, it’s fitting, because it represents a new era for Honda, which plans to make Ohio its North American electric vehicle hub. Production of batteries in the new facility is expected to begin before the end of 2025.
Now, what does this mean for Honda’s electric motorcycle plans? Unfortunately, that’s not clear just yet—particularly since the Maryville Motorcycle Plant closed several years ago. Since the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act includes a provision that, for electric vehicles to receive federal tax credits, their batteries must be made in the U.S., it’s conceivable that Honda could produce some of its electric motorbike batteries in this facility, alongside the electric car, SUV, and truck batteries that will surely take precedence.
Will batteries eventually be produced here that follow standards set by the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium that Honda co-founded? It’s all speculation at this point—but as and when we have more concrete information, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.