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Lordstown plant could get spark from partnership

GM, Honda to join together to develop 2 electric vehicles

LORDSTOWN — Two all-new electric vehicles General Motors and Honda pledged jointly to develop for the Japanese automaker could increase demand for battery cells from GM’s proposed next-gen technology plant.

The propulsion system in the vehicles is based on GM’s new proprietary battery platform, the cells for which will be manufactured at the planned $2.3 billion plant in Lordstown.

A GM spokeswoman said the automaker may have more information to share at launch, but one Ohio lawmaker said the GM / Honda announcement this week will benefit Lordstown.

“This collaboration between GM and Honda is welcome news for the Mahoning Valley, which is home to a highly skilled, world-class workforce,” U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said. “We’re excited to get this new battery plant up and running, and for the jobs it will bring to the region.”

Under the partnership, Honda will design the interiors and exteriors of the new electric vehicles and the platform will be designed to support Honda’s driving character.

Production of the Honda electric vehicles will be at GM plants in North America. Sales are expected to begin in the 2024 model year in Honda’s United States and Canadian markets.

The two new vehicles are distinct from the 13 electric vehicles GM rolled out in early March with plans to have them in production within five years. Eleven of those vehicles will contain cells from the plant in Lordstown.

GM and Honda have an ongoing relationship around electrification. This includes work on fuel cells and the Cruise Origin, an electric, self-driving and shared vehicle, that will contain a battery pack with Lordstown-made cells.

GM recently completed the purchase of 158 acres in Lordstown for the plant it figures will play a substantial role in moving toward an all-electric future. The plant, a joint venture with South Korea’s LG Chem, is planned for land on Tod Avenue adjacent to GM’s former assembly plant.

The automaker has applied for and is awaiting OKs on environmental permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to build the 2.5 million-square-foot facility. It would employ upward of 1,100 people. Groundbreaking is expected to happen by July.

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