Editorial: Battery plant billions could bloom in Ohio


A recent editorial by the Toledo Blade:

It appears that there is good economic development news to celebrate in Ohio.

Honda and South Korean electronics giant LG have announced a $4 billion joint venture to construct a battery factory for use by the entire Honda product line.

Construction on the new facility for Honda’s electric vehicle power source is scheduled for early 2023.

Neither company has indicated where the batteries will be built, but the Wall Street Journal reports it’s an undisclosed location in Ohio.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted teased more good news for Ohio related to the Honda announcement.

That says all the signs show Honda intends to expand its footprint in Ohio.

There are billions of dollars behind the breakneck pace to switch auto fleets from gas powered to electric.

Local automaker Stellantis, the corporate parent of Jeep, has announced plans to spend $35 billion worldwide by 2025 in the transition from gas to electricity.

Since March, Stellantis has announced $6.5 billion in new battery plant construction expected to create nearly 4 thousand new jobs.

Ford Motors is also in for two new battery plants at the cost of $11 billion, creating 11 thousand new jobs in Tennessee and Kentucky.

General Motors has a $7 billion battery plant investment underway in four Michigan locations.

The federal tax incentives to consumers for buying an EV, and to automakers for producing them, is spurring rapid transition to electric powered vehicles.

As we pointed out in this space just last week, Ohio has 8.1 million registered autos and slightly fewer than 25,000 are electric powered.

The infrastructure to recharge the coming onslaught on electric cars needs to be developed immediately.

Furthermore, the electric grid must be improved to handle the foreseeable demand that will soon arrive.

But for today the focus should be on the apparent decision by Honda to expand its 43-year partnership with Ohio.

There are two large Northwest Ohio sites that would be perfect to serve Honda’s auto plants in Ohio and Indiana.

But wherever the battery plant is built it will be good for Ohio.

Anything that is good for Ohio is good for all of Ohio.

— Toledo Blade, September 2, 2022