Honda selects Port Colborne for first-of-its-kind EV separator plant

Lakeside community’s economy set for a supercharge. Photo credit: Facebook/City of Port Colborne


In the latest chapter of Canada’s big push to make the country a global-leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing hub, Honda has chosen Port Colborne as the location of its new lithium ion separator plant. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford, federal and provincial ministers, and several municipal leaders will all be in the south Niagara community today to announce details of the project. 

Honda’s intention to build the plant, the first-of-its-kind in Canada, was revealed at the end of April when the company announced a $15 billion investment in the country’s EV supply chain and a joint partnership with Japan’s Asahi Kasei. However, the location of the new plant was not disclosed at the time.

After iPolitics originally reported that Niagara had been selected as the new facility’s home last week, rumours circulated online throughout the weekend of where, exactly, the plant would be located.

On Monday, CBC confirmed that the small community of 18,000 along Lake Erie’s north shore was the successful bidder. 

Port Colborne reportedly beat out Winnipeg to secure the facility. 

Asahi Kasei, which will build the plant in partnership with Honda, previously stated that it expects to invest $1.6 billion in the plant. 

It’s anticipated the facility will begin operations in 2027. 

It’s unknown how many jobs the new facility will create. 

The federal and provincial government each contributed $2.5 billion in tax credits and other government incentives to help secure Honda’s $15 billion investment to create a “comprehensive” EV supply chain in Ontario. 

The investment will see the construction of four new manufacturing plants across the province: a vehicle assembly facility and standalone battery manufacturing plant at Honda’s current location in Alliston, Ontario, a cathode active material and precursor (CAM/pCAM) processing plant, and Port Colborne’s separator plant. 

The Ontario location of the cathode plant is expected to be announced soon.

Cathodes and separators are both key components in the lithium ion batteries used in EVs. 

Over the last four years, Ontario has attracted over $43 billion in auto and EV-related investments, including $7 billion for Volkswagen’s first overseas EV battery manufacturing plant in St. Thomas and over $5 billion from Stellantis and LG Energy Solution to manufacture EV batteries in Windsor.

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