Ohio State, Honda Team up for Cutting-Edge Battery Research

Honda, Ohio State, and other partners are collaborating on an innovative battery cell research and development center.
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Published on November 16, 2023
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  • Ohio State will open a new battery cell research and development center in 2025.
  • The center, a collaboration with Honda and other partners, will offer students hands-on experience.
  • Officials say the center will prepare students to enter the growing electric vehicle workforce.
  • Electric vehicle use is projected to grow rapidly, and workforce demands are already high.

The Ohio State University will open a new battery cell research and development center in 2025, school officials announced Nov. 13, preparing students to play a key role in the development of electric vehicle (EV) technology.

Electric vehicle sales are projected to balloon over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: While electric vehicles accounted for just 0.2% of all vehicle sales in the U.S. in 2011, that number is projected to hit roughly 40% or more by 2030.

That fast-paced growth also means a high-demand for advanced battery technology workers — and the new Ohio State partnership with Honda will give students a chance for hands-on learning in battery cell development. The school's new 25,000-square-foot research center has already scored $22 million in commitments so far and is expected to open in April 2025.

Ohio State's commitment to research, innovation and bringing solutions to the world is at the heart of our land-grant mission, Peter Mohler, Ohio State's acting president and executive vice president for research, innovation, and knowledge, said in a press release.

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.

Bob Nelson, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., said the new center will be a great resource to train the next-generation workforce in advanced manufacturing technologies.

High-demand tech fields have been increasingly important to colleges amid nationwide workforce shortages and federal funding efforts. The White House recently announced plans to distribute CHIPS Act funds across the country to establish Regional Innovation and Technology Hubs.

Along with emerging technologies like semiconductors and artificial intelligence, companies and government officials have also looked to colleges to develop the electric vehicle workforce. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) announced earlier this year that it would lead a new Electric Vehicles Hub alongside Tesla and Panasonic.

The demand for software developers, electric battery assemblers, battery engineers, and chemical engineers will soar and open up thousands of opportunities for manufacturing workers to upskill, Adrienne Summers, the AACC's executive director of apprenticeships, said in a January release.

The shift toward EV technology will also require a massive build-out of EV charging infrastructure, which will have a largely positive impact on the workforce.

Ohio State's new center will benefit more than just electric vehicles, JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef said in the school's press release.

The EV industry, aerospace and aviation, healthcare and more will benefit directly from this innovative center by gaining a competitive advantage in battery technology, Nauseef said.

This collaborative effort between Honda, one of the world's most successful manufacturers, and Ohio State, a global leader in academic and industry research, establishes one more extraordinary asset for Ohio as industries across sector lines move toward more electrification.