Honda Motor Co. and LG Energy Solution announced an agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) to produce lithium-ion batteries in the United States to power Honda and Acura EV models for the North American market. The companies will invest a total of $4.4 billion in the plant, which aims to have an annual production capacity of approximately 40 GWh. The pouch-type batteries produced at the JV plant will be supplied exclusively to Honda facilities in North America. While the location for the facility is yet to be finalized, the companies plan to begin construction in early 2023 in order to enable the start of mass production of lithium-ion battery cells by the end of 2025.
Toyota announced an additional investment of $2.5 billion in its newest North American facility, Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC). This investment adds capacity to support battery electric vehicle (BEV) battery production and adds 350 jobs, bringing total employment to approximately 2,100. Scheduled to begin production in 2025, the facility will produce batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and BEVs.
Hirschvogel Automotive Components (Pinghu) Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of automotive parts and components in China, contracted Germany’s SMS group to supply a fully automated closed-die forging press. The press will forge aluminum chassis components with high dimensional accuracy at a short cycle time at the company’s Pinghu location near Shanghai. The new line will have a force of 3,150 tons, and it will be the third unit from SMS at this site. Commissioning is scheduled for the second quarter of 2022.
Volvo Group and SSAB signed a collaboration agreement on research, development, serial production and commercialization of the world's first vehicles to be made of fossil-free steel. Volvo will start manufacturing the first concept vehicles and machines with steel from SSAB using hydrogen in 2021. Plans call for smaller-scale serial production to start during 2022 and for a gradual escalation toward mass production to follow. Volvo and SSAB will also work together in research and development to optimize the use of steel in Volvo’s products with regard to weight and quality. The two companies plan to develop a number of products of fossil-free steel with the goal of reaching serial production within a few years.
Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution, will invest more than $2.3 billion to build its second battery-cell manufacturing plant in the United States. The approximately 2.8 million-square-foot facility will be located in Spring Hill, Tenn. It is expected to create 1,300 new jobs. Construction will begin immediately, and the plant is scheduled to open in late 2023. Once operational, the facility will supply battery cells to GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant.
Anchor Harvey, an aluminum forging company that seeks to set new standards for sustainable transportation, announced the launch of its new Electric Vehicle (EV) Workgroup. The new in-house working group draws from Anchor Harvey’s technological leadership and experience in forging components for the automobile and motorsports industries. By creating high-strength, lightweight forged aluminum components – such as steering knuckles, control arms, suspension components and structural nodes – the EV Workgroup will focus on vehicle parts built for increased range in support of manufacturers creating the next generation of transportation.
Ford committed that 100% of its passenger-vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by mid-2026 and will be completely all-electric by 2030. Similarly, Ford’s entire commercial-vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2024, with two-thirds of its commercial-vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. Spearheading Ford’s advance into an all-electric future is a new $1 billion investment to modernize its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, the home of Ford of Europe. The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center for the manufacture of electric vehicles, the company’s first such facility in Europe.
American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (AAM), a global automotive supplier of driveline and metal-forming technologies, and Suzhou Inovance Automotive Ltd. (Inovance Automotive), a provider of automotive power electronics and powertrain systems in China, formed a technology development agreement that will accelerate the development and delivery of scalable, next-generation 3-in-1 electric drive systems, which integrate an inverter, electric motor and gearbox. The collaboration will seek to enhance the power density, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of electric drive technology offered in the global market.
Bharat Forge Ltd. (India) made a strategic investment of approximately $12.9 million in Tevva Motors Ltd. (Chelmsford, U.K.), a supplier of electric powertrain solutions for commercial vehicles and buses. These vehicles actively and autonomously manage the use of the range extender by utilizing Tevva’s patented software, Predictive Range Extender Management System (PREMS), to ensure only electric drive is used in low carbon zones and other city centers. By virtue of this investment, Bharat Forge has also acquired a license for commercialization of the Tevva technology within India and for strengthening its R&D activities in the e-mobility market.