Honda’s first US-made EV to share assembly line with gas cars

Honda Motor Co. plans to start manufacturing its first US-made fully electric vehicles at a plant in Ohio next year on a production line that will also build traditional gas-powered cars.

Producing the as-yet-unnamed mid- to large-sized EV alongside one or more gas models represents an effort to boost efficiency and respond to marketplace demand, the Japanese automaker said Friday. Growth in EV adoption has slowed among US car buyers, forcing some carmakers to slash output and delay the introduction of new EV models. 

The shared line doesn’t represent a change in plans, American Honda Executive Vice President Bob Nelson told reporters, but will allow the company to react to changes in consumer preferences. “We can adjust the output based on the short-term demands from the market. But our ramp-up for EVs is still the same as what we had been planning,” he said.

Honda aims to make as many as hundreds of EVs a day at the Marysville, Ohio, plant, Nelson said. The company expects overall production volume to remain consistent with the factory’s current output of about 950 vehicles per day. 

The Marysville facility makes a trio of mid-size sedans: the Honda Accord, Acura Integra and TLX models. Production of the Accord in 2025 will move to Honda’s plant in Greensburg, Indiana, alongside the Civic and CR-V compacts, to make room for the new EV. The company declined to say which gas models will be made on the single, consolidated assembly line in Marysville.

The carmaker last year announced a pair of EVs bound for the US market — the Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX — which were co-developed with General Motors Co. Nelson said the Prologue is being made at a GM plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Honda has faced difficulty with previous fully electric forays into the US. It introduced and withdrew three different EVs from the late 1990s through 2020. All of those were made in Japan. –BLOOMBERG