Honda is committing $15 million to a groundbreaking partnership with Ohio State University to spearhead battery cell research. The collaboration aims to advance the development of battery cells and drive innovation in electric vehicle (EV) technology. The investment comes amidst a backdrop of major automakers scaling back their EV plans. Supported by $4.5 million in federal taxpayer funding, the partnership will establish a state-of-the-art laboratory at Ohio State, slated to open in April 2025. The project will be overseen by the university’s Institute for Materials and Manufacturing Research, which has already secured a total of $22 million in investment.
Ohio State’s Acting President, Peter Mohler, expressed enthusiasm for the research initiative, highlighting the institution’s commitment to research and innovation as part of its land-grant mission. Mohler emphasized the importance of multi-level collaborations, including partnerships with local, state, and federal stakeholders, as well as industry leaders like Honda and Schaeffler.
While some automakers have curtailed their EV projects, Honda remains steadfast in its dedication to electric mobility. The company believes that the collaboration with Ohio State will catalyze advancements in EV technology across various sectors, from automobiles to motorcycles and power products. Bob Nelson, Executive Vice President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., underlined the significance of the partnership and highlighted the facility’s potential as a training resource for the next generation of workers in advanced manufacturing technologies.
As with any large-scale investment involving taxpayer funding, questions arise regarding accountability and the ability to deliver on promises. John Mozena, President of the Center for Economic Accountability, expressed skepticism about making predictions for EVs, batteries, and future consumer demand. Mozena cited Honda’s recent cancellation of its battery partnership with General Motors as a reality check for the industry. However, he acknowledged the value of partnering with industry for research and development initiatives while stressing the importance of transparent communication regarding the speculative nature of such investments.
Overall, the Honda-Ohio State partnership represents a significant commitment to advancing EV technology and battery cell research. By leveraging the resources and expertise of both academia and industry, the collaboration aims to push the boundaries of electric mobility and training future generations in advanced manufacturing.