Driving along the fielded stretch of I-71 between Cincinnati and Columbus, it’s hard not to notice the colossal steel skeleton rising from the flat landscape around Jeffersonville. The busy site of cranes and construction crews broke ground in June and will be home to a 2-million-square-foot facility for electric vehicle (EV) battery production, a joint venture between Honda and LG Energy Solution.
With an initial investment of $3.5 billion and a projected overall investment of $4.4 billion, the joint venture is part of Honda’s EV Hub in Ohio initiative, a multi-pronged plan to ramp up the car company’s EV production nationwide. The plan includes the retooling of several of Ohio’s existing powertrain plants (including Marysville Auto Plant, East Liberty Auto Plant, and Anna Engine Auto Plant) into EV vehicle producers. “The production of electrified vehicles and their components represent what we call advanced manufacturing, or next generation manufacturing,” says Rick Riggle, chief operating officer of the Honda and LG Energy Solution battery plant.
The Jeffersonville site is the only new-construction project in the EV Hub and is projected to create 2,200 jobs at full production, which is slated for the end of 2025. The annual production capacity will be approximately 40 gigawatt hours (GWh). For context, one gigawatt could power 100 million LED lights, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
As part of the EV Hub, the new facility will play a significant role in Honda’s vision to make battery-electric and fuel-cell-electric vehicles compose 100 percent of its vehicle sales by 2040. The EV batteries produced in Jeffersonville will be provided exclusively to Honda auto plants to produce electric vehicles across North America.
While the Marysville Auto Plant is already manufacturing Honda Accord hybrids, this new wave of EV production in the Ohio Hub signals a fresh frontier of advanced manufacturing in the state as well as Honda’s continued confidence in Ohio as its home base. It was in Ohio, after all, that the company launched its U.S. auto production in 1982. “The knowledge and expertise established here will be shared across Honda’s entire North America auto production network in the coming years,” says Riggle.
While Honda hasn’t conducted a formal economic impact study concerning the ripple effect of the Jeffersonville site, Riggle points to the company’s 45-year track record of manufacturing success in Ohio as an indicator of healthy relationships with local officials and Ohio communities adjacent to its facilities. “We don’t expect this to change with this battery plant, as LG Energy Solution is a likeminded partner,” he says.
LG Energy Solution is a leading global manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Both Honda and LG are striving to achieve carbon neutrality for all products and operations by 2050.