Ford has announced a huge $11.4 billion investment into EV and battery manufacturing in the US.
The American giant has revealed a new 6-square-mile site in West Tennessee, called Blue Oval Park, will produce the new F-Series electric pickup and “advanced batteries.” Meanwhile, another two sites in Kentucky, the BlueOvalSK battery plants, will produce the batteries powering upcoming Ford and Lincoln EVs.
The Stanton, Tennessee site will create 6,000 new jobs while the battery factory in Glendale, Kentucky will bring 5,000 roles to the state.
Together, these sites represent the largest ever US investment into electric vehicles at one time.
“This is a transformative moment where Ford will lead America’s transition to electric vehicles and usher in a new era of clean, carbon-neutral manufacturing,” says Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford.
“With this investment and a spirit of innovation, we can achieve goals once thought mutually exclusive – protect our planet, build great electric vehicles Americans will love and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”
This latest investment announcement comes as part of Ford’s commitment to spending more than $30 billion on electric vehicles through 2025.
“This is our moment – our biggest investment ever – to help build a better future for America,” says Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO.
“We are moving now to deliver breakthrough electric vehicles for the many rather than the few. It’s about creating good jobs that support American families, an ultra-efficient, carbon-neutral manufacturing system, and a growing business that delivers value for communities, dealers and shareholders.”
However, Ford isn’t working alone on the endeavour. Its new plants are supported by SK Innovation – a South Korean company specialising in battery cells and battery management systems.
“We are proud to be partnering with Ford as they open a new chapter in automobile history,” says Dongseob Jee, president of battery business, SK Innovation.
“We are excited to be taking this decisive leap together, as partners, and to bring about our common vision for a cleaner planet. Our joint venture, BlueOvalSK, will embody this spirit of collaboration. We look forward to growing our trust-based partnership by delivering on our market-leading value proposition, experience and cutting-edge expertise.”
The sites themselves will be among the largest auto manufacturing sites in the US.
Blue Oval City, the site of new F-Series pickup truck manufacture, covers 3,600 acres and encompasses vehicle assembly, battery production, and a supplier park. This, according to Ford, will lead to improved efficiency. Plus, it should be more sustainable than other plants, relying on local renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar, and wind power.
“West Tennessee is primed to deliver the workforce and quality of life needed to create the next great American success story with Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation,” says Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee.
“This is a watershed moment for Tennesseans as we lead the future of the automotive industry and advanced manufacturing.”
The Kentuck-based battery parks, on the other hand, are slightly more modest at 1,500 acres. However, both sites are still capable of producing up to 86 gigawatt-hours annually – Tesla’s Gigafactory, by contrast, can theoretically manage 35 gigawatt-hours per annum.
“We thank Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation for their investment in Team Kentucky,” says Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.
“This is the single largest investment in the history of our state and this project solidifies our leadership role in the future of the automotive manufacturing industry. It will transform our economy, creating a better Kentucky, with more opportunities, for our families for generations.”
All three sites are expected to be up and running by 2025.