Honda EV production begins to take form with new battery deal

Arata Ichinose, Operating Executive and Head of Business Development at Honda Motor Company, meets with Mike O'Kronley, CEO of Ascend Elements, in Westborough, Mass. The companies reached a basic agreement to collaborate on the stable supply of recycled lithium-ion battery materials for Honda electric vehicles in North America.

Honda has partnered with Ascend Elements to recycle lithium-ion batteries and recuperate the elements into new cells.

As Honda works towards selling its first electric vehicle, the Honda Prologue, in 2024, its production and manufacturing chops for EVs are finally taking form. This includes everything from battery and drivetrain production facilities to battery cell manufacturing plants to, today, a deal to establish a battery recycling and recuperation deal with a recycler in Massachusetts.

Honda has been working with Ascend Elements to recycle lithium-ion batteries since 2021, but now, Honda is hoping to start to use the materials the recycler takes from used batteries. Specifically, Honda is focused on using recycled lithium, nickel, and cobalt in new battery cells. The deal, announced today, is implemented to help Honda achieve a perfectly circular supply chain and achieve “zero environmental impact” by 2050.

Honda did not specify the amount of material that it would be receiving from the recycler, nor did it specify when it would be able to start to use it. But this deal is just one of the many projects the company is taking on as its EV production takes form in the United States.

The Japanese automaker has established a series of battery production deals, the first with LG Energy Solutions, in which the two companies are launching a new production facility in Ohio, and the second with GS Yuasa. However, the second supply deal will likely focus on meeting demand in Asia.

Outside of batteries, Honda continues to develop its electric drivetrain capabilities at its production facilities scattered throughout America, currently producing them for use in hybrid applications.

On top of these deals and new production locations, Honda is also working with various manufacturers to develop new electric vehicles. The Honda Prologue comes from Honda’s partnership with GM, and the two auto giants have stated that they will likely continue to cooperate “to produce affordable EVs.” Honda is also working with Sony in its Afeela joint venture, which is set to bring its first EV to market in 2026.

But perhaps most significantly, Honda’s incredibly dominant motorcycle division plans to introduce three new electric motorcycles to the United States and Europe, with a larger number of smaller models and scooters coming to Asia as well.

If Honda can enter the EV market quickly enough, with a novel and affordable EV for everyday Americans, it could quickly become a dominant force within the market. But as other legacy brands, notably Ford, have shown, that is easier said than done. Hopefully, the automaker can deliver these products quickly, allowing more and more Americans to electrify in the coming years.

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William Johnson: Will is an auto enthusiast, a gear head, and an EV enthusiast above all. From racing, to industry data, to the most advanced EV tech on earth, he now covers it at Teslarati.
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