Honda Progress in Establishment of EV Hub in Ohio will Lead to EV Production in North America

April 16th, 2024 by
Honda Progress in Establishment of EV Hub in Ohio will Lead to EV Production in North America
  • Honda EV Hub is developing knowledge and expertise for EV technology and production to be shared with other Honda plants in North America
  • Investment in Ohio EV Hub progressing as planned
  • Marysville Auto Plant (MAP) gearing up for start of EV production in 2025
  • Honda is expected to hire 300 associates for its EV Hub in Ohio
  • Upskilling of Honda associates for EV and IPU production begins this year

Honda is making critical progress in the establishment of the Honda EV Hub in Ohio, which will serve as a roadmap for production* of electric vehicles (EVs) in North America. As Honda works toward the start of EV production in late 2025, retooling efforts are well underway, including preparation for vehicle production and in-house assembly of the Intelligent Power Unit (IPU), which houses the EV battery and serves as part of the vehicle platform. Based on its goal to achieve carbon neutrality, Honda is targeting 100% zero emissions vehicle sales by 2040.

Honda expects to hire 300 associates at its Ohio EV Hub, while 300 associates at the Marysville Auto Plant will upskill for IPU assembly. Honda has committed to investing at least $700 million to transform its Marysville Auto Plant, East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP) and Anna Engine Plant (AEP) to lead the start of EV production in North America.

Beyond the production of EVs at MAP and ELP, the EV Hub is where Honda associates will develop the knowledge and expertise in EV production that will be shared across Honda’s North American auto production network in the coming years. The EV Hub will set the standard for Honda production of electric vehicles in North America and globally.

“The establishment of our EV Hub is not simply an investment in retooling and equipment, we are investing in the Honda associates who will be taking on new responsibilities to lead us into the electrified future,” said Bob Nelson, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Our EV Hub in Ohio is playing an essential and strategic role for the evolution of EV production at Honda, in North America and globally.”

Honda will have the flexibility to produce both internal combustion engine (ICE) and EVs on the same line at MAP, its first auto production facility in America, giving the company a strategic advantage to quickly respond to shifting market demand while also demonstrating the ingenuity and experience of its associates to design a uniquely flexible assembly line. The associate-friendly improvements to MAP incorporate direct feedback from associates through focused discussions and valuable input from the Honda Associate Voice program.

“As we prepare for the electrified future, we continue to embrace ‘The Honda Way,’ which emphasizes teamwork, respect and open communication,” said Nelson. “These are the values that have helped us successfully grow our business in America over the last 45 years and will power us into the future.”

The updates to Honda’s EV Hub come as Honda and Acura prepare for the introduction of its first all-electric SUVs in the North American market, the Honda Prologue and the Acura ZDX.

The IPU cases produced at AEP will be supplied to MAP, where associates will install the battery modules produced at the new joint venture battery facility, which will power the EVs to be produced at MAP and ELP. Following is a closer look at changes being made by each facility in the Honda EV Hub:

Honda Marysville Auto Plant

Key changes at MAP include both the startup of EV production and sub-assembly of the IPU.

  • Line consolidation: MAP recently consolidated its two production lines, tearing out much of line two to enable production of both EVs and ICE vehicles on the same line. The additional space will be used to improve the ease of movement for people on the line and the efficiency of lineside parts delivery and staging for assembly of both ICE vehicles and EVs, as well as the expansion of the Vehicle Quality area to verify software-dependent vehicle functions.
  • IPU sub-assembly: MAP also renovated a material consolidation area to create a new workspace where some 300 associates will sub-assemble the IPU that houses the EV battery module and its controlling hardware and software. Once MAP begins IPU production, it will supply IPUs for the production of EVs at both the Marysville and East Liberty Auto Plants.
  • Upskilling: later this year, MAP associates will begin training programs to prepare them for the skills required for EV production and IPU assembly, with employment to remain stable at the facility.

Honda Anna Engine Plant

AEP has produced everything from engines and engine components, transmissions, cam shafts, crankshafts, and high tech CVT components, and will now build the IPU case, that will contain the EV battery module and serve as the main frame structure for the floor of Honda and Acura EVs.

  • High-pressure die casting: AEP is preparing to install six, 6,000-ton high-pressure die cast machines that will mega cast the IPU case. The new die cast machine, over 31 feet tall, will bring IPU manufacturing in house for the first time at Honda.
  • Friction Stir Welding: the IPU case is much larger than anything Honda has die cast before. It will be die-cast in two pieces and welded together seamlessly using Friction Stir Welding.
  • To create space for production of the IPU case, in 2023, AEP transferred production of engine components for two different generations of engines to the Alabama Auto Plant (AAP).

Honda East Liberty Auto Plant

ELP will be producing EVs, but with a single production line. The changes required at ELP focus more on accommodating the heavier weight of EVs.

  • ELP will be strengthening overhead conveyors that carry vehicles through the plant and is expanding the paint department to accommodate the heavier weight of battery-electric vehicles.
  • Similar to MAP, the Vehicle Quality area at ELP is being expanded to verify software-dependent vehicle functions.

Joint Venture EV Battery Plant

A key component of the Honda EV Hub, construction progress continues at L-H Battery Company, Inc., the more than 2 million square feet joint venture EV battery facility near Jeffersonville, Ohio.

  • The facility recently enclosed the exterior structure, and the final structural steel beam was installed on February 29th, almost a year to the day after the groundbreaking for the new facility.
  • Hiring is underway for the plant, with a variety of engineering and support positions currently posted on the company website. Information about technician and production roles is expected to be announced in the coming months.
  • Honda and LG Energy Solution have committed to invest $3.5 billion in the new JV facility, with the overall investment projected to reach $4.4 billion. The facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024, with an annual capacity of approximately 40GWh.

Honda Electrification Strategy

While Honda will begin EV production at the EV Hub in Ohio, based on the company’s vision to make battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles represent 100% of its vehicle sales by 2040, each Honda auto production facility in North America will have a critical role to play in Honda’s electrified future.

It is the role of the Honda EV Hub in Ohio to establish the expertise and experience for EV production that will be shared across the Honda production network in North America. Importantly, Honda expects to maintain employment stability across all locations during these key next steps in the transition to the electrified future.

Moreover, even as Honda accelerates preparation for EV production, the company plans to sustain current ICE and hybrid-electric vehicle production in order to meet continued strong customer demand. The sustained success of ICE and hybrid-electric vehicle sales also will support the required investment in the electrified future.

*Using domestic and globally sourced parts

About Honda Manufacturing in America
Honda has been producing automobiles in America for over 40 years, beginning in November 1982 with the start of automobile production at the Marysville Auto Plant.

In 2022, more than two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. 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 U.S. manufacturing footprints of any international company. More than 23,000 U.S. associates support the company’s 12 manufacturing plants 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 U.S. manufacturing operations, including more than $3.6 billion over the past five years alone. The company also works with 600 U.S. original equipment suppliers, with U.S.-sourced parts purchases of approximately $492 billion since 1979.

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More information about Honda is available in the Digital FactBook.

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