Honda just took the next critical step toward our electrified future with two major investments that will lead our plan to build EVs in America for our customers and help achieve our global goal to achieve carbon neutrality for all of our products and corporate activities by 2050.
It’s a strategy that reminds me of the bold decision Honda announced exactly 45 years ago today, on October 11, 1977, to do something no other international automaker had successfully achieved: build our products in America. What followed is a strategy that now includes five auto plants and production of over the past four decades of some 30 million cars and light trucks in America.
We believe the plan we just revealed will have a similar far-reaching impact on our future. These investments will establish the foundation for Honda in the electrified era, as we begin producing EVs and the batteries that will power them in the U.S.
The starting point is the commitment to invest $700 million to re-tool three of our plants in Ohio to produce EVs. This includes re-tooling the Marysville Auto Plant, where we began building cars in America 40 years ago.
When I joined Honda in 1987, just five years later, my mission was to dramatically grow our purchasing of parts and materials from local suppliers. So, I understand the challenge of developing a new generation of high technology suppliers for EV production. That’s why we formed a new joint venture (JV) to produce EV batteries in Ohio, which aligns with our longstanding commitment to build products close to our customers.
Together with our JV partner, LG Energy Solution, we made a commitment to invest $3.5 billion to establish a new EV battery plant in Fayette County, Ohio. We’re proud to be able to share that this will create 2,200 new jobs to make the batteries that will be used exclusively for EVs built in our Honda auto plants.
We announced earlier this year that our EV sales will begin in 2024 with the Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX, two great-looking, full-electric SUVs we are co-developing with GM. But our vision is to make battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles represent 100% of our new vehicle sales in North America by 2040.
Our two newest investments announced today will serve as the foundation of our plan to produce EVs in America that will be based on our own Honda e:Architecture.
By re-tooling our existing operations, we will equip the Marysville Auto Plant, East Liberty Auto Plant and Anna Engine Plant, as well as the Honda associates who work there, for the start of EV production and EV components.
But we aren’t only going to build EVs and batteries in Ohio. As we looked at how to take on the challenge of EV production in North America, it became clear that the experience, expertise and the resources we have established in Ohio should serve as the starting point for the roll-out of EV production throughout North America in the coming years.
So, we are establishing a new EV hub that will leverage the experience of our Ohio associates in areas including production, purchasing and product development. This will create the expertise for EV production that we will share with our other Honda auto plants in the region. Eventually, all our auto plants will play an important role as we pursue electrification.
The purpose of our investments in our production facilities in America, which now exceed $22 billion, has never focused simply on new facilities and equipment. We have always invested in people. And certainly the visionary announcement we made in 1977 to build products in America has led to the efforts of tens of thousands of Honda associates to produce some of America’s best-selling and most fuel-efficient vehicles over the past four decades.
We are proud of their efforts, but now is not the time to rest on our history. What we announced today represents a re-investment in the Honda associates who will take us from building vehicles utilizing the internal combustion engine to those powered by electrification.
By investing in our people and our ability to make electrified products in America, we embark on an exciting journey – to power zero-emission Honda and Acura vehicles to meet the needs of our customers and to achieve our challenging goals for carbon neutrality.
Executive Vice President, Corporate Services
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.