The project, with a total investment of about RMB 10 billion ($1.57 billion), will have an initial annual capacity of 120,000 vehicles.
(Rendering of Dongfeng Honda's EV plant in Wuhan. Credit: Dongfeng Honda)
Dongfeng Honda, a joint venture between Honda Motor and Dongfeng Motor, will build a new electric vehicle (EV) plant in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province, to tap the fast-growing market.
Hong Kong-listed Dongfeng Motor said in an announcement on Wednesday that Dongfeng Honda signed an investment agreement on the project with Wuhan Economic Development Zone on January 5.
The plant, which will cover an area of 630,000 square meters, is scheduled to go into production in 2024 with an initial annual capacity of 120,000 vehicles.
The announcement said the project is Honda's first new energy benchmark plant in the world, and upon completion, it will have complete processes for EV production, including stamping, welding, painting, final assembly and complete vehicle inspection, and will introduce the latest automation technology in the welding and final assembly processes.
According to Dongfeng, the new plant will make full use of renewable energy including solar power, adopt measures to conserve resources including water recycling, and reduce emissions of air pollutants such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
The announcement from Dongfeng Motor did not provide more information, but according to a press release from the Wuhan Economic Development Zone, the total investment in the project is about 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion), with a planned annual production capacity of 256,000 units.
This is Honda's latest move to make the transition to electrification in the Chinese market.
Another joint venture of the Japanese automaker in China, GAC Honda's new energy vehicle (NEV) capacity expansion project was scheduled to start in October 2021 and will be completed in 2024, according to information released by Guangzhou Public Resources Trading Center in August last year.
The project, with a total investment of about RMB 2.989 billion ($460 million), will be able to produce 120,000 NEVs per year after completion, the information showed.
On October 13, Honda, along with GAC Honda and Dongfeng Honda, held a joint launch of the company's electrification efforts in China, officially unveiling the e:N brand of EVs.
Two production models under the brand - Dongfeng Honda's e:NS1 Special Edition and Guangzhou Auto Honda's e:NP1 Special Edition - debuted, and they will be available in spring 2022.
Honda also unveiled three concept cars - e:N Coupe concept, e:N SUV concept, and e:N GT concept - whose production versions will be available in five years.