Honda bares next steps for new EV hub in US

Honda recently announced the next key steps in establishing its EV Hub in Ohio, leading the company’s journey to an electrified future in North America. In October 2022, Honda announced that it would invest $700 million to retool several of its existing auto and powertrain plants to establish the new EV Hub in Ohio to prepare for the production of battery electric vehicles (EVs) in 2026. The Marysville Auto Plant (MAP), where Honda began auto production in America in 1982, will be Honda’s first auto plant in the United States to transition to making EVs.

As part of the EV Hub in Ohio, Honda will transform MAP, the East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP), and Anna Engine Plant (AEP), leading to the start of EV production in North America. This EV Hub will play a key role in developing the company’s knowledge and expertise in EV production, which will be shared across Honda’s entire North American auto production network in the coming years, even as many Honda plants continue producing gasoline-powered vehicles.

Each Honda auto production facility in North America will have a critical role to play in Honda’s electrification strategy. Following are the next key steps involving several of Honda’s US production facilities. Honda expects to maintain employment stability across all locations during this transition.

MAP to consolidate 2 production lines

MAP will begin preparing for EV production as early as January 2024 by consolidating its two production lines currently making vehicles powered by internal combustion engines and hybrid-electric vehicle systems. Consolidating production to one line will enable MAP to build the infrastructure necessary for EV production. Every MAP associate will have a position as part of this transition. Moreover, starting later this year, MAP associates will begin training programs to prepare them for the skills required for EV production.

Accord to be made in Indiana plant

Based on the planned consolidation of production lines at MAP, production of the Honda Accord will transfer to the Indiana Auto Plant (IAP) in 2025. It will maintain the production volume of an important core model for Honda customers while enabling MAP to transition to EV production.

AEP to move ICE engine production to Alabama

AEP will transfer component production for two different generations of engines to the engine plant at the Alabama Auto Plant (AAP). Machining of the engine head, which ended at AEP in February, for the existing V6 engine that powers many Honda light trucks, have been added to existing AAP operations beginning last March. Engine block casting for the all-new V6 engine, introduced in the all-new 2023 Honda Pilot, will begin at AAP in August 2023. These two moves will allow AEP to reallocate space for future IPU Case production.

These cases will be combined with the battery modules produced at the new joint venture battery facility Honda is establishing in Ohio with LG Energy Solution (LGES). These EV batteries will power the EVs produced at MAP and ELP.

Partnering to build e-axles

Transmission Plant-Georgia (TMP-G) will partner with a Honda supplier to install a new line to build e-axles, an essential component of EVs that combines the electric motor, gearing components, and power electronics. The supplier will install, own, and operate the new e-axle line in the space currently occupied by a transmission production line that is not in operation.

JV for EV battery plant

As part of the new EV Hub, Honda and LGES recently held the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new joint venture EV battery plant in Fayette County, near Jeffersonville, Ohio. The two companies have committed to invest $3.5 billion in the new JV facility of over 2 million square feet, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024 and aims for approximately 40 GWh of annual production capacity. The overall investment of the two companies in the JV facility is projected to reach $4.4 billion.

Continuous ICE and hybrid-EV production

To achieve carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities by 2050, Honda aims to make battery-electric and fuel-cell EVs represent 100% of its vehicle sales by 2040. Even as Honda accelerates preparation for EV production, the company plans to sustain current ICE and hybrid-EV production to meet anticipated strong customer demand through 2030 and beyond. The sustained success of ICE and hybrid-EV sales will also support the required investment in the electrified future.

Over 30 million Hondas made in US

Honda has been producing automobiles in America for over 40 years, beginning in November 1982 with the start of automobile production at MAP. In 2022, over two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the States were made in America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Honda’s cumulative auto production in America now exceeds 30 million vehicles. Honda established manufacturing operations in America in 1979 with the start of motorcycle production in Marysville, Ohio, and today has one of the largest and most diverse US manufacturing footprints of any international company. The company’s 12 plants employ more than 22,000 associates in America, supporting operations that have an annual capacity of more than 1.27 million automobiles, 1.52 million engines, 500,000 power equipment products, and 300,000 Powersports products, as well as the HondaJet advanced light jet and GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines.

Cumulatively, Honda has invested $19 billion in its US manufacturing operations, including more than $3.2 billion over the past five years alone. The company also works with over 600 US original equipment suppliers, with US-sourced parts purchases of approximately $470 billion since 1979.