Arriving relatively late to the EV business, Honda has also turned to the United States to begin its EV transition in North America.
The company, along with joint venture partner LG Energy Solution (LGES), broke ground in February on a US $4.4 billion battery cell plant in Jeffersonville. It followed this up with a $700 million commitment in March to re-tool several plants to build EVs in nearby Marysville.
The company began building hybrid vehicles in Ontario last fall, but has not yet detailed plans to bring any form of battery production to the province.
John Bordignon, spokesperson for Honda Canada, did not directly address Premier Ford’s comments, but said the company’s US EV hub will “lead” Honda’s shift to electric products in North America. Nevertheless, the company’s Alliston, Ont. campus will not be left out.
“Each Honda auto production facility in North America, including [Honda of Canada Mfg.] in Ontario, will have a critical and future role to play in Honda’s electrification evolution,” Bordignon wrote in an email.
Over the longer term, Fiorani forecasts this local production of EVs will lead Honda to invest in battery production in Ontario. But with the company “behind the curve” on EVs, it will be at least “another lifecycle of vehicles” before that happens, he added.
“Eventually they’re going to need to have local battery facilities. Shipping batteries is expensive in nature.”