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Honda’s Chinese joint venture business Dongfeng is set to build a new dedicated electric vehicle (EV) plant.

It is hoped that the new EV plant will help Dongfeng get its production up to scratch as it prepares to expand its EV lineup in the coming years.

The new plant is set to be built in the Wuhan Economic Development Zone in Zubei province and will cover around 630,000 square meters.

Production in the plant is expected to begin in 2024 and the company is hoping it will be able to produce 120,000 cars once up and running.

The plant is designed to facilitate start-to-finish EV production, rather than specialising in a single task. Cars will be stamped, welded, painted, assembled, and inspected on the same site before they roll out of the factory gates.

Dongfeng also says the plant will “strive to achieve an industry-leading level of automation, mainly in the assembly area.” 

However, it seems Dongfeng is walking the walk with its environmental commitment to EVs. “The plant will proactively pursue sustainable initiatives,” reads a statement from the company “which will include utilization of renewable energy sources such as solar power toward the realization of carbon neutrality, use of recycled water and other resource conservation measures.”

Of course, that’s not quite a complete commitment to using renewable energy but it is a start. Honda, remember, hasn’t committed to becoming carbon neutral until 2050 – later than a lot of other large automakers.

Dongfeng says the plant will also look to reduce Volatile Organic Compound emissions, which it says are a major source of air pollution.

For workers in Wuhan, this clean air initiative will likely feel more pertinent and pressing than any lofty commitment to carbon neutrality at the plant.

Companies investing in new manufacturing plants is all the rage at the moment with the likes of Northvolt establishing a new battery plant in Portugal, while Toyota and Hyundai are building new manufacturing centres in the US and South Korea, respectively.

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