Two companies that have been hanging back in the shift to battery-electric vehicles, Stellantis and Honda, are making new investments in the U.S. Rust Belt aimed at boosting production of BEVs.
Stellantis says it will invest a total of $155 million in three Kokomo, IN, plants to produce new electric-drive modules (EDMs) that will help power future BEVs assembled in North America and to support its goal of 50% BEV sales in the U.S. by 2030.
With more than 25 BEV launches planned in the U.S. between now and 2030, the Kokomo-built EDMs will be integrated into vehicles designed on the STLA Large and STLA Frame platforms, according to Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares.
“While we continue our successful transition to a decarbonized future in our European operations, we are now setting those same foundational elements for the North American market,” Tavares says.
Investments will be made at the Indiana Transmission, Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting plants. The gearbox cover will be cast at Kokomo Casting and machined at Kokomo Transmission. Gear machining and final assembly will be at the Indiana Transmission Plant. Production is expected to start in the third quarter of 2024, following retooling.
Stellantis says the EDM module will provide an all-in-one solution for BEV powertrains consisting of three main components – the electric motor, power electronics and transmission. The single module will deliver improved performance and driving range up to 500 miles (805 km) at a competitive cost, the automaker says.
Since 2020, Stellantis has invested nearly $3.3 billion in Indiana to support its transition to electrification. This includes recent announcements of $643 million to produce a new engine for conventional and plug-in hybrid applications, a next-generation 8-speed transmission and a gigafactory joint venture with Samsung SDI to build vehicle batteries.
Meanwhile, Honda has broken ground for a new lithium-ion battery plant near Jeffersonville, OH. Construction of the 2 million sq.-ft. (185,800 sq.-m) plant, a joint venture between Honda and LG Energy Solution, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2024 with production launching at the end of 2025
The two companies have committed to invest $3.5 billion in the JV 25 miles (40 miles) southwest of Columbus. The overall investment could reach $4.4 billion and create 2,200 jobs.