Ford has announces a new global battery center of excellence – called Ford Ion Park – to accelerate research and development of battery and battery cell technology – including future battery manufacturing. It will centralise a team of 150 experts in battery technology development, research, manufacturing, planning, purchasing, quality and finance to help Ford more quickly develop and manufacture battery cells and batteries.
The new center will use state-of-the-art equipment to pilot new manufacturing techniques that will allow Ford to quickly scale breakthrough battery cell designs with novel materials once the company vertically integrates battery cells and batteries.
The Ford Ion Park team already is underway. In addition, a $185 million collaborative learning lab in Southeast Michigan that is dedicated to developing, testing and building vehicle battery cells and cell arrays opens late next year.
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, says: “We’re already scaling production of all-electric vehicles around the world as more customers experience and crave the fun-to-drive benefits of electric vehicles with zero emissions. Investing in more battery R&D ultimately will help us speed the process to deliver more, even better, lower cost EVs for customers over time.”
He adds: “We are creating new tools and solutions we need for a carbon-free, affordable and better future. We are modernizing Ford’s battery development and manufacturing capabilities so we can better control costs and production variables in-house and scale production around the world with speed and quality.”
Anand Sankaran will lead the Ford Ion Park team as its new director. A 30-year veteran of Ford, Sankaran brings to the new position decades of battery and electrification expertise – including his current role as the company’s director of Electrified Systems Engineering.
“Ford’s modern EV journey started with Escape Hybrid in 2004, the world’s first hybrid SUV, and it continues today – all driven by the inspiration to deliver no-compromise vehicles for a better world,” says Sankaran.