COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State University is constructing a battery cell research and development center with the help of a $15 million investment from Honda.
The university is renovating a 25,000-square-foot facility in its Innovation District into a dedicated battery cell research, production and education support space. Honda is serving as lead foundational partner for the project and has promised $15 million as part of a combined $22 million in investments, including from manufacturer Schaeffler Americas.
“Ohio State’s commitment to research, innovation and bringing solutions to the world is at the heart of our land-grant mission,” said Peter Mohler, acting Ohio State president. “We have more reach and impact when we work with our partners at the local, state and federal levels and we join industry-leading partners like Honda and Schaeffler.”
The facility will be managed by Ohio State’s Institute for Materials and Manufacturing Research and will create a hub for academic and industry connections across chemical and physical sciences, engineering, business and policy. The project will act as a pipeline of industry talent while also attracting electric vehicle battery manufacturing and supply chain businesses.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Extramural Construction program is contributing $4.5 million in federal funding to the project. The funding will support a 4,000-square-foot dry room, which is necessary for the assembly of battery cells due to the extreme moisture sensitivity of cell components.
The partnership comes one year after Honda announced it is investing more than $4 billion into three existing Ohio plants and beginning construction on a new plant. The existing plants in Marysville, East Liberty and Anna are receiving a $700 million investment to construct electric vehicles.
A joint venture with LG Energy Solutions, Honda is building a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Fayette County. The batteries produced at the new plant will be used for the electric vehicles constructed at the Marysville, East Liberty and Anna plants.
“Honda is committed to an electrified future for our automobiles, motorcycles and power products worldwide,” said Bob Nelson, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We have had a long-standing relationship with Ohio State that goes back more than 30 years, and this new facility is an extension of that great partnership.”
JobsOhio, Ohio’s privatized economic development office, finalized in February an agreement with Honda to infuse an additional $140 million into the development of the Fayette County plant, a $10 million workforce grant for the project itself and $87 million to aid in retooling Honda’s existing facilities.
The money, payable over the next 10 years, comes on top of the approximately $156.3 million in tax incentives and infrastructure improvements that Ohio is putting toward the project. Honda and LG have agreed to create 2,527 new jobs and more than $140 million in new payroll, including 2,200 jobs through the Honda-LGES battery plant and 327 through Honda’s retooling.