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Good InfoHonda to Splash $15 Billion on EV Manufacturing in Ontario with 'Largest...

Honda to Splash $15 Billion on EV Manufacturing in Ontario with ‘Largest Auto Investment in Canada’s History’

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland listen as Toshihiro Mibe, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co., speaks to the crowd at Honda of Canada – released by Honda.

In late April, Honda Motor Company announced plans to build a comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) value chain in Canada with an approximate investment of CAD$15 billion (USD$11 billion).

Consisting of four manufacturing plants for EVs, EV batteries, and battery components the first will have a production capacity of 240,000 EVs per year when fully operational, while the battery plant will produce around 36 gigawatt-hours per year.

Battery recycling and end-of-use concepts are being taken into account in the project.

Currently in evaluation phasing, the company hopes to build in Alliston, Ontario. In addition to securing the current employment level of 4,200 associates at its two existing manufacturing facilities in Ontario, Honda estimates it will add a minimum of 1,000 new jobs for the EV and EV battery manufacturing facilities.

The investment will also create significant spinoff jobs across all sites, including in the construction sector where it’s estimated that at least 4,000 tradesmen and laborers will be involved.

Honda has begun the process of evaluating the scope of its investment and completing negotiations with its joint venture partners, which includes the Federal Government of Canada who are supporting the work with CAD$5 billion. The work is expected to be finalized during the next six months.

Canadian and Ontario labor unions are scrutinizing the announcement for signs that Honda may employ foreign labor for the construction, when, they say, it should all be going to Canadians due to the presence of public money in the investment.

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Honda Motor Company, Honda of Canada, and the Canadian Industry Minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, have all said this will not be the case, with the Honda of Canada President going as far as to suggest a memorandum of understanding be signed on the topic of foreign workers versus unionized workers for the project.

Despite a recent slowdown in the growth of EV sales, especially in the U.S., Honda, the price of which reached a new 52-week high in March, said it was sticking to its goal of selling only EVs and fuel-cell, or hydrogen, vehicles globally by 2040.

Honda of Canada recently fabricated its 10 millionth car—a gasoline-powered CRV.

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Honda of Canada workers finishing the 10 millionth vehicle assembled in Canada – credit – Honda

As the first step in achieving this electrification goal in North America, Honda positioned its existing auto production plants in the state of Ohio in the US as its EV hub for production, including the retooling of existing plants, an investment of USD$700 million, and the construction of a joint venture EV battery plant with LG Energy Solution, with an expected investment of USD$4.4 billion, the company said in a statement. 

Honda is the only auto manufacturer outside China that reveals its near neighbor for full supply chain EV production.

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