LG Energy Solution and Honda Break Ground for New Joint Venture EV Battery Plant in Ohio
Honda is going to build batteries with LG in Ohio. Will they also have a Canadian EV manufacturing plant? Photo: Honda

According to a report from Japan’s Nikkei, Honda is considering a multi-billion EV investment in Canada. But the where and how of the plan remain unclear

Honda is considering an $18.4-billion investment to establish an electric vehicle manufacturing footprint in Canada, a report from Nikkei newspaper claims.

The Japanese news outlet reported this month it had learned the automaker was exploring an expansion into Canada that would see a manufacturing facility for EVs as well as battery-making capabilities, with a decision coming by the end of 2024. It does not specify the source of the information.

Electric Autonomy reached out to Honda Canada president Jean Marc Leclerc for more information.

In a brief email, Leclerc stated, “Honda is considering various options to increase production capacity in [North America], however, we have nothing further to share at this time. Currently, our focus is on our Ohio EV Hub that I already discussed at last year’s conference.”

(Leclerc was the keynote speaker at Electric Autonomy‘s annual EV Innovation & Technology Conference in 2023.)

Indicators of a plan in the works

While Honda officials remain tight-lipped about any major North American EV investments, Electric Autonomy has reviewed public documents containing details that indicate something may be afoot.

Last fall, Honda updated its lobbyist registry filing in Quebec to reflect it is pursuing funding or a grant in the province related to EVs.

“Communication with a view to obtaining financial support (grant, loan, or other) to support potential projects in Quebec affecting the electric vehicle sector,” reads Honda’s filing.

Leclerc is listed as the primary lobbyist along with Yoshiyuki Nakazawa, Honda Canada Manufacturing’s executive vice president and general manager.

Further, a May 2023 report submitted to the New Tecumseth City Council in Ontario (where Honda has existing manufacturing facilities, in Alliston) details that Honda estimates its water needs for its industrial plant are not projected to increase until 2028.

Battery manufacturing is a water-intensive process and Nikkei reporting states the new plant, which may be located next to Honda’s existing Alliston facility could come online in 2028.

“Honda anticipates that it will need access to increased water flows from 2028 onwards,” reads the city council report.