Almost 20 million passenger electric vehicles (EVs) were on the road globally in 2022 — a number which is expected to more than triple by 2025. At this point it’s safe to say the future of driving is electric, and automakers and battery manufacturers are making Columbus their epicenter for investment.
Last year Hyperion — a hydrogen-electric tech and transportation company — announced plans that it would invest $297 into a new hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing facility in the Columbus Region. The announcement came just weeks after Intel publicized its plans to open two new semiconductor facilities in the Region with a total of $20 billion in investments.
Now, Japanese auto manufacturer, Honda, has plans for a new Ohio EV battery plant that will present even greater possibilities for the vast engineering talent within the Region. In a joint venture with South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution, the company announced in late 2022 that it would open a new $4.4 billion EV battery plant in Fayette County, just 40 miles southwest of Columbus. Honda also plans to retool three of its facilities in the area with a $700 million overall investment to complement EV production. Two of these existing facilities are in the Columbus Region, the Marysville Auto Plant and the East Liberty Auto Plant.
Honda and LG recently held the groundbreaking for the new plant, but the impacts on the Columbus Region’s EV battery, fuel cell and semiconductor businesses are already being felt throughout Central Ohio.
Honda’s Investment in Ohio leads to Job Growth
Ohio has long been a powerful contributor to vehicle manufacturing. In fact, Honda was one of the first auto manufacturers to choose the Columbus Region in the late 1970s. The company now employs close to 4,000 associates at its Marysville auto plant.The new Ohio EV manufacturing facility in Fayette County will directly employ 2,200 more people, while the company’s retooled facilities will create 327 jobs in addition to its existing workforce.
Hyperion’s new fuel cell facility is also expected to create 700 new jobs — including 233 manufacturing jobs and 41 warehouse jobs. European battery manufacturer Forsee Power expects its North American battery manufacturing headquarters to create 150 good paying jobs.
Smart Goals for Economic Growth
To be effective, goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive). When the city of Columbus won the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge in 2016, that’s precisely the type of results Smart Columbus began driving.
The recent stream of investments from EV battery manufacturers is also impacting on the Region’s economic growth. Columbus’ smart mobility sector creates opportunities for new businesses as well with organizations like the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at Ohio State University, which specializes in the research and development of hybrid and electrified vehicles.
Housing the Future of Talent
With the growth of jobs and new businesses comes the inevitable need for new housing. Central Ohio is expected to grow to more than 3 million residents by 2050, creating even more opportunities for greenspace and residential developers. Over the next decade, approximately 100,000 permits for new housing in Columbus will be necessary to meet the projected needs created by the population growth.
In the downtown area alone, population is expected to increase 11% over the next year. Commercial developers have already taken the hint, with mixed-use office and apartment buildings popping up on every street corner — and an expected 3,700 new units by 2025.
EV manufacturers and their suppliers benefit from the Region’s abundant talent, while investments from Honda add promise to strengthen the Central Ohio economy. Contact our experienced team to see how we can help your company become a part of the Columbus Region’s diverse and steady growth.