Honda has announced plans to build a second assembly plant for all-electric vehicles in China together with joint venture partner Dongfeng Motor to prepare for the expansion of its EV lineup in the coming years.
The new factory will be built in the central city of Wuhan, Hubei province, and is expected to have an initial annual capacity of 120,000 vehicles when production is scheduled to start in 2024.
In the statement announcing the new plant, Honda says that much of the assembly line, from production, stamping and welding, will feature an “industry-leading level of automation.”
With a lot size of 630,000 meters (6.78 million square feet), Dongfeng Honda Automobile's plant will use sustainable energy, such as solar power, and recycled water to reduce air pollution.
The new plant in Wuhan is the second EV plant Honda has announced in China after disclosing in November 2021 that it will build its first EV plant with its other local partner, GAC Motor.
Gallery: Honda e:N Series EV Concepts
The factory built by the GAC Honda joint venture is also scheduled to begin output in 2024 with an identical initial annual capacity of 120,000 vehicles.
Honda will launch an all-electric version of its HR-V subcompact crossover in China in the first quarter of 2022 under a dedicated EV sub-brand e:N. The electric crossover will be sold with two nameplates, e:NP1 and e:NS1, built by Dongfeng Honda and GAC Honda, respectively.
While these two models will be made at the joint ventures’ existing facilities, the new plants scheduled to start production in 2024 will build Honda’s all-new generation of dedicated EVs.
Previewed by the e:N SUV, e:N GT and e:N Coupe concepts unveiled in October 2021, Honda’s new generation of EVs will include ten e:N Series models that will be rolled out within five years from Dongfeng Honda and GAC Honda and exported globally.
All these new models will be based on Honda’s new e:N Architecture developed exclusively for electric vehicles. The automaker remains secretive about the new platform, although it says the e:N Architecture will enable “a sporty and exhilarating driving experience.”