With a shift to electric cars in full swing and California this week becoming the first state to mandate a sunset of gas-powered vehicle sales, many are asking where the electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure is going to come from. Will there be enough charging stations? Enough EV parts? Will the cars go down in price enough for the average American to afford them?
There’s news this week of an effort to at least partially mitigate those concerns.
Honda and LG Energy Solution have teamed up on plans to build a $4.4 billion electric vehicle battery plant in the United States, CNBC reported. Mass production of lithium-ion battery cells is expected to begin by the end of 2025.
"Our joint venture with Honda, which has significant brand reputation, is yet another milestone in our mid- to long-term strategy of promoting electrification in the fast-growing North American market," Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution, said in the release. “Since our ultimate goal is to earn our valued customers’ trust and respect, we aspire to position ourselves as a leading battery innovator, working with Honda in achieving its core initiatives for electrification, as well as providing sustainable energy solutions to discerning end consumers.”
“Honda is working toward our target to realize carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities the company is involved in by 2050,” Toshihiro Mibe, president, CEO, and representative director of Honda Motor Company, said. “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 U.S. with LGES, the leading global battery manufacturer, will be part of such a Honda approach,” he continued.
Per CNBC, the companies will build a joint venture for the new plant. The location was not announced, but as the outlet noted, automakers usually build such plants near their assembly plants, and Honda’s are located in Ohio, Alabama, and Indiana.
The Verge reported that several automakers have already announced such ventures, including General Motors, Volkswagen, and Stellantis. That story also cited GlobalData figures that battery production will quadruple, going from 95.3-gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2020 to 410.5 GWh in 2024.
Honda is eyeing 2024 for the release of the Honda Prologue, an electric SUV.
According to Car and Driver, the Prologue “appears to be on track and thoroughly competitive thanks to a joint development agreement with GM.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.