Ford and SK Innovation Plans for Giant Battery and EV Factories in America
The South Korean battery industrialist - SK Innovation and Ford Motors spend $11.4Bn to create new factories in the US states - Kentucky and Tennessee, targeting the production and development of batteries and EVs. Ford collaborating with SK, is developing twin lithium-ion battery plants in Kentucky - BlueOvalSK, followed by a 3,600-acre campus including battery plant, supplier park, recycling center, and new electric F-series truck assembly plants in Tennessee.
A Shift in Ford's Approach
Though the facilities won't come until 2025, Jim Farley, the Ford CEO, mentioned that the investment underlines the serious commitment of the firm to EVs. In addition, the assets result in the enhancement of conventional operation to a more profitable and better position for evolving areas like electric, self-driving, and hybrid vehicles.
The new-flanged facilities pinpoint the transition in the company's approach to EV production. The firm sources its batteries from SK and 3 battery plants, which will enable 129GWh a year. Other than Ford, companies like General Motors (GM) are planning 4 battery factories in a joint venture with LG Chem, followed by Tesla and Volkswagen, targeting a battery factory in Europe.
GM, together with LG Chem, spends $4.6Bn for battery production, starting in 2023. A year ago, the shares of Ford had doubled. Over $5.6Bn of its investment with SK will go to Blue Oval City, a new campus in Stanton, Tennessee, and $5.8Bn for the 2 factories in Glendale, Kentucky. According to the North American Ford COO - Lisa Drake, Ford will cover around $7Bn of the $11.4Bn.
Drake told reporters, "We are announcing the largest single investment in new manufacturing facilities in the 118-year history of Ford."
Upcoming Ford F-Series
According to Ford, the plant will develop a next-generation EV F-Series pickup, unlike the forthcoming F-150 Lightning. In addition, Farley said about creating a fully electric, optimized product plant platform with massive production of F-Series EVs. By 2030, the firm expects one-third of full-size trucks sold in America to be fully electric.
The company added that it plans to fund $525Mn over the coming 5 years, including $90Mn in a pilot program in Texas for training expert technicians for EV services.