Honda and LG Energy have today announced a joint-venture to produce lithium-ion batteries for Honda and Acura EVs for the North American market. Said joint-venture, to be run as a separate company established in the US, will include US$4.4 billion of investment – around $5.7 billion – with an annual production target of “approximately 40GWh.”
Though not fully signed-off, both Honda and LG Energy expect their joint-venture to be finalized before the end of the year.
The proposed ‘pouch-type batteries,’ which enclose battery cell components within an aluminum-coated plastic film, will be produced from the joint-venture company’s new facility, and while its location has yet to be confirmed, construction is set to begin in 2023 with mass-production scheduled to begin “by the end of 2025.” Speculation has linked construction with Ohio or Indiana, site of two of Honda’s biggest plants currently operating in North America.
All produced battery packs will thereafter be supplied exclusively to Honda and Acura as part of the Japanese marque’s plans to bring battery-electric vehicles to North America by 2025 (or early 2026) ahead of its 2050 carbon-neutrality goals. In its official statement, Honda puts this joint-venture with LG down to “expanding local electric vehicle production” and “ensuring the timely supply of batteries,” two concepts that would put the company “in the best position to target the rapidly-growing North American EV market.”
“Honda is working toward our target to realize carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities the company is involved in by 2050,” explains Honda CEO and President, Toshihiro Mibe. “Aligned with our longstanding commitment to build products close to the customer, Honda is committed to the local procurement of EV batteries which is a critical component of EVs. This initiative in the US with LGES, the leading global battery manufacturer, will be part of such a Honda approach.”
Though Honda is not currently selling or producing EVs in mass-numbers, company officials have suggested, with this expansion, that the marque could be capable of selling 800,000 BEVs in North America by 2030. Further afield, Honda has already stated its intention of releasing 30 new full-EVs by 2030 as part of a US$50+ billion investment.
Honda’s joint-venture with LG follows a similar collaboration with General Motors the Japanese marque announced earlier, the latter an initiative to introduce “a series of affordable electric vehicles” to North America from 2027 onwards.