Ford making its biggest single manufacturing investment ever to build electric vehicle factories
Ford Motor Business and SK Innovations, a South Korean energy company, are investing $11.4 billion to develop two massive electric vehicle manufacturing campuses, creating more than 10,000 new jobs and marking Ford’s largest-ever single manufacturing investment in the company’s 118-year history.
According to Ford executives, Ford’s part of the investment will be $7 billion. Ford previously stated that it plans to invest $30 billion by 2025 in its transition to more electric vehicles and that by 2030, completely electric vehicles will account for 40% of its global sales.
Ford CEO Jim Farley called on the federal government to do more to promote the transition to electric vehicles. Infrastructure and supply chain exp
In an interview with CNN International, he said, “Essentially, we need support to help people make this financial change.” “These are pricey automobiles. We’ve seen governments in Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and China, place a premium on economics to encourage people to move to these vehicles. We require your assistance.”
The two locations, one in Kentucky and the other in Tennessee, will employ a total of around 11,000 people, with three electric vehicle battery production factories and an electric pickup truck factory between them.
The 3,600-acre complex in Tennessee, dubbed Blue Oval City after Ford’s insignia, will be three times the size of Ford’s iconic River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan. It will have a battery production factory, battery materials recycling facilities, regions for various parts suppliers, and an assembly plant for making electric F-series trucks, and will employ 5,800 people.
The Mustang Mach-E, Ford’s first mainstream all-electric vehicle, debuted on sale last year, and the Ford E-Transit electric commercial van will be available later this year. Ford’s first all-electric full-size truck, the F-150 Lightning, is anticipating to hit the market next year.
Ford Chief Operating Officer Lisa Drake indicated that the trucks to construct at the new plant will not be F-150 Lightning, but rather future electric F-series truck models. The Ford F-150 Lightning is building in Dearborn, and it will go on sale next year.
According to Drake, the Tennessee site also has a vacant area for potential growth.
As Ford strives to gain more control over its parts supply chain, Drake said having room for suppliers within the building was critical. Due to shortages of computer chips and other crucial parts, Ford and other manufacturers have had to suspend or limit the manufacturing of some models in recent months. Ford wants to avoid a situation like this with its battery supply for electric vehicles, according to Drake.
BlueOvalSK Battery Park will be the name of the smaller facility, which will be developed in Kentucky. SK Innovations is collaborating with Ford on battery production, and the Kentucky facility will employ an additional 5,000 workers. It will make lithium-ion batteries in two identical battery plants that will be built adjacent to one other. The size and layout of these two plants will be identical to the third battery factory in Tennessee. According to Drake, all three battery factories were built to be identical to make building easier.
According to Ford executives, the plants will begin producing batteries and trucks in 2025.
The manufacturing facilities at Blue Oval City, according to Ford, are carbon neutral. They will not, in other words, increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. According to the automaker, the firms also want the factories there to not send any waste materials to landfills.
The massive Tennessee complex, Blue Oval City, will contain a battery materials recycling facility that will recycle waste material from battery manufacture and feed it back into battery facilities. Redwood Materials, a startup founded by former Tesla CEO JB Straubel, will run the recycling operation. Redwood, a battery recycling firm, just received a $50 million investment from Ford to help it grow its operations. Redwood claims to be able to recover over 95% of elements like cobalt, lithium, copper, and nickel from batteries.
According to Drake, employees at the plant will vote on whether or not they want to be representing the United Auto Workers union, which already covers workers at other Ford facilities. Beyond funds for training potential employees, Ford executives did not say what kind of incentives the corporation received from the various states.
Ford also stated that over the next five years, it will invest $525 million in training electric vehicle repair personnel across the United States.