Cleantech & EV'sNews

Honda looks to build a $14 billion EV and battery plant in Canada

Japanese automaker Honda has been, shall we say, laying very low when it comes to developing a decent electric vehicle, although we can expect its second EV attempt in the US, the Prologue, soon. After calling off beats with GM to “beat out Tesla” with a cheap SUV, it has now emerged with news that it is mulling over a $14 billion EV and battery plant in Canada.

According to Japan’s Nikkei, the Japanese automaker is looking at several sites in Canada, including one near its auto factory in Alliston, Ontario. The company is expected to decide sometime this year, with production beginning in 2028.

If all goes according to plan, Honda will produce in-house batteries at the plant, which would be the company’s second EV plant in North America.

For its part, Canada has done a good job of attracting new investment from the EV industry. Reports say that Canadian industry minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has spent most of last year building up EV investments to solidify the country’s clean-tech future by offering tax breaks and the promise of overflowing renewable energy sources and rare minerals used in EVs.

So far, Volkswagen and its battery company PowerCo are building a gigafactory for cell manufacturing in St. Thomas, Ontario, with production starting in 2027.  Swedish EV battery maker Northvolt is also building a zero-emissions battery factory in Quebec, a province with access to hydroelectric power and a lithium mine near La Corne. Of course, batteries coming from Canada with materials found in Canada will also help vehicles qualify for the US’s federal EV tax incentives.

As for Honda, it has already said that it will manufacture batteries with LG Energy Solution in Ohio starting in 2025. It also plans to convert its Honda plants in Ohio with the goal of building EVs based on the company’s new Honda e:Architecture in 2026, Automotive News writes.

Honda Europe
Honda e city car/Source: Honda

Electrek’s Take

Honda’s greatest hit is obviously the Civic, the best-selling car of all time. But it hasn’t been able to create any sort of success for itself with an EV – and that’s due to a lot of heel-dragging at the corporate office, some pretty bad EV design, and lackluster sales. It did launch a nice-looking little city car, the Honda e, in Europe and Japan, but it was soon dropped after low sales. The Honda Clarity, an awkwardly proportioned electric sedan, was launched in California and Oregon a few years back but was axed pretty soon after that due to low sales. It may have better luck with its upcoming Prologue SUV, which starts in the upper $40K and will release early this year.

Honda recently signed on with General Motors to build a sub-$30K electric SUV in a $5 billion deal to try to overrun Tesla. But in October last year, the plan was scrapped, with the companies saying the timing wasn’t quite right due to the economic climate. Still, we may soon see an affordable EV coming from Honda, and this news does hold some promise that a wave of EVs made and sourced in North America is soon on its way.


Author: Jennifer Mossalgue
Source: Electrek

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