The plant will employ about 2,200 workers. It will be an approximately 50-minute drive southeast of Dayton, about 40 minutes south of Springfield and about 70 minutes east of Hamilton. The joint venture leaders expect to draw workers from those communities and others.
“Fayette County, geographically, it’s the perfect spot for this joint venture,” said Rick Riggle, chief operating officer of the joint venture company. “We call it a ‘sweet spot’ between Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati — it’s a great location. And it’s centrally located to Honda operations.”
The demand for EV batteries is expected to grow by around 30%, nearing 4,500 gigawatt-hours (GWh) a year globally by 2030, according to business consultant McKinsey & Co.
Robert Lee, chief executive of the new joint venture, said no company is more aware of the supply chain and material challenges in that market.
“Overall, it’s rapid growth in the lithium-ion battery demand,” Lee said. “Of course, there are concerns about some of the raw materials, lithium most notably. But I would say we’re better off and further along in terms of securing long-term commitments for those raw materials than any other company in the world.”
The journey to the joint venture’s planned Fayette County plant began with the purchase of 454 acres for nearly $23.3 million in November 2022.
According to Fayette County property records, Honda Development & Manufacturing of America LLC paid $23,268,935 for 454 acres from Martin Land Co. on Nov. 7.
The plant will built just west of Ohio 729 and south of Interstate 71. Earth-moving and construction equipment have been visible off I-71 for several weeks.
With plans to create an Ohio-centric “EV Hub,” Honda plans investments beyond the new plant. The company will invest $700 million in re-tooling on three existing auto plants, in addition to the new vehicle battery plant. The company plans to continue producing conventional internal combustion engine automobiles for some time.
All batteries produced by the new joint venture plant in Fayette County will be supplied exclusively to Honda plants in North America to power battery-electric vehicles sold in North America.
The plant aims to have approximately 40 gigawatt-hours or “GWh” of annual production capacity as it starts mass production of pouch-type lithium-ion batteries by the end of 2025.