Honda to announce multibillion-dollar Ontario EV assembly and battery plants this week: reports
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Apr 22, 2024
Brian Banks

Rumoured since January, it now appears certain that Honda has chosen Ontario for the site of a new electric vehicle assembly plant, an EV battery gigafactory and other precursor production facilities

According to multiple reports, Honda will announce in the coming days that it is building a new EV assembly plant and EV battery gigafactory in Ontario.

Rumoured since January, it now appears certain that Honda has chosen Ontario for the site of a new electric vehicle assembly plant, an EV battery gigafactory and other precursor production facilities

Editor’s Note (April 23): Honda Canada today sent invitations to media to attend an announcement at its Alliston, Ont., manufacturing plant on Thursday April 25 at 10:00 a.m.

Canada, specifically Ontario, is on the cusp of landing another major international electric vehicle investment — this one from Honda Motor Co. — according to multiple recent reports citing unnamed government sources.

The package may include all the pieces Honda will need to create a new North American hub for EV production: a new EV assembly plant, an EV battery gigafactory and facilities to produce battery precursor materials.

Honda also operates plants in two U.S. locations that will produce EVs.

“Largest deal in Canadian history”

Initial reports about the possibility of this deal published in January pegged its potential value at $18.4 billion.

On Monday, speaking at the annual First Nations Major Projects Coalition conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised he’d be making an announcement later this week about “the largest deal in Canadian history.”

Ford didn’t provide any specifics or confirm it involved Honda. But in the past 24 hours major Canadian news organizations, citing unnamed government sources, say Honda will announce a massive, multiphase EV investment.

The first of these reports was published by Bloomberg over the weekend.

The new EV plant will be in Alliston, Ont., where Honda Canada already runs a Canadian vehicle assembly plant. Electric Autonomy confirmed through public documents the Town of New Tecumseth is discussing the new Honda factory.

In 2022, the federal and provincial governments kicked in $131.6 million over a six-year period to help Honda retool that plant to make a new CR-V Hybrid crossover.

At that time, officials denied the deal was a precursor to additional investments to make EVs at the facility. But several newly published accounts now indicate that deal was a door-opener to subsequent discussions leading to this week’s announcement.

Battery gigafactory, CAM factory too

Details about the battery gigafactory are less definitive. Reports suggest it’s likely to be in close proximity to the new EV assembly plant.

Additional facilities to make cathode active materials (CAM) and other precursors for battery production will be located elsewhere. Usually companies choose locations near to where they intend to source the critical minerals and other elements.

Any specific government investments to help secure the Honda project will likely only be public once the announcement is official.

What is known is that in last week’s federal budget, the Liberal government unveiled a new EV Supply Chain Investment Tax Credit to support development of EV assembly, battery making and precursor materials factories. That credit was immediately seen as being tied to a potential Honda investment.

In March, the Ontario government’s latest budget also contained what might have been a telltale provision: specifically, $2.8 billion over three years, beginning in 2024–25, for strategic investments in industrial support and land development, including Ontario’s auto manufacturing sector and electric vehicle battery production.

Will that funding form the package the province put together as part of Canada’s pitch to Honda? If the latest reports are correct, we could find out as early as this Thursday.

Electric Autonomy will continue to monitor and report on this story as news is available.

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