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Ford, SK to invest $11.4 billion to add electric F-150 plant, three battery factories By Reuters

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© Reuters. In an artist’s rendering, you can see the U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. with its South Korean battery partner SK Innovation, building a battery manufacturing plant in Kentucky. It is expected to open in 2025. Ford Motor Co/Handout via REUTERS

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By Ben Klayman

DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co and its Korean battery partner SK Innovation will invest $11.4 billion to build an electric F-150 assembly plant, and three battery plants in the United States, accelerating the No. The push for electric cars by the U.S. automaker.

Ford announced Monday that it expects 40% to 50% more of its worldwide vehicle volumes to be electric by 2030 than its previous forecast of 40%.

Ford announced that Ford plans to open nearly 11,000 new jobs with the opening of Stanton’s assembly and battery plant and two more Glendale battery factories. These are part Ford’s earlier stated plan to spend over $30 billion on electrification by 2030. Both plants will be open by 2025.

Monday’s announcement represents the single biggest manufacturing investment Ford made over its 118 year history. According to Lisa Drake, Ford North America Chief Operating Officer Lisa Drake, the Tennessee assembly/battery complex will nearly triple Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan Rouge manufacturing plant, which is now over 100 years old, in an interview with Reuters, Lisa Drake, Ford North American Chief Operative Officer Lisa Drake, said that it would be three times as large. The site will have room to grow, Drake said.

Drake explained that Drake believes this point is a “very transformative” one. Drake noted, “We are putting our capital into place now to help lead the transition to EVs.”

Ford will receive $7 billion and SK the remainder. Ford’s share of the investment will amount to $7 billion, with SK covering the rest. Ford plans to introduce its electric F-150 Lightning pickup trucks next spring. Jim Farley assumed control as chief executive in October 2020. In September Ford tripled its Dearborn, Michigan production capacity to produce the F-150 Lightning. This was due to the strong demand for this electric pickup.

Ford and other carmakers are working hard to get ready for the introduction of EVs, as more countries like China and Europe strive to reduce vehicle emission.

Ford and SK announced a memorandum in May that would allow for the construction of lithium-ion batteries plants. Drake stated that the battery plants would be owned jointly by SK. They will have a total annual capacity of 129 gigawatt hours (GWh), when fully operational. This is more than twice what Drake had said in May. It would power over 1 million EVs with the new capacity.

Ford has previously stated that its global electric vehicle plan requires at least 240GWh of battery capacity. This is equivalent to roughly 10 plants in North America, Europe, and China. SK claims it hopes to double its global annual battery capacity by 2025 to over 200 GWh.

TENNESSEE MEGA CAMPUS

As part of Monday’s announcement, Ford will build a 3,600-acre “mega campus” in west Tennessee called Blue Oval City that will employ 5,800 people and include the assembly plant, lithium-ion battery production and a supplier park, Drake said. Blue Oval, Ford’s corporate logo, plays on the name of Ford.

Drake stated that the new Tennessee assembly plant will produce the Lightning’s next generation using an EV platform. A platform that is heavily inspired by the F-150 gasoline-powered F-150 will build the initial Lightning model.

Drake didn’t reveal the production capacities for Tennessee’s truck plant.

The site will also include zero-waste-to-landfill processes to capture materials and scrap.

BlueOvalSK battery park will be constructed in Kentucky and employs 5,000 people. It will have twin factories that produce lithium-ion battery for Ford and Lincoln electric cars. Construction is expected to begin in 2025. A second factory is expected to open in the same year.

They will get $500 million in Tennessee incentives and nearly $300 million for Kentucky.

Ford hourly workers in the U.S. have said that Ford has a moral obligation to ensure good-paying union jobs at its battery plants. Drake indicated that this will be decided by workers but Ford reiterated to SK that it cannot be anti-union.

Monday’s announcement follows Ford’s last week’s agreement to work with Redwood Materials (NYSE 🙂 Materials in order to create a circular supply network for EV batteries. It will include recycling and raw materials. Redwood will locate at Ford’s Tennessee facility.

Ford announced that over the next five-years, it will spend $525,000,000 to support U.S. technicians’ job training and readiness. This is in preparation to shift to EVs. The program starts in Texas where Ford will spend $90 million.

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