It is the biggest investment in the history of our company
Ford Motor Co. and South Korean energy company SK Innovations invest $ 11.4 billion to build two massive new manufacturing campuses for electric vehicles, creating more than 10,000 new jobs and representing the largest manufacturing investment ever made by Ford in the company’s 118-year history.
Ford’s share of the investment will be $ 7 billion, Ford executives said. Ford has previously announced that it will spend $ 30 billion by 2025 to move towards building more electric vehicles and that it expects 40% of its sales, globally, to be entirely vehicles. electricity by 2030.
Ford chief executive Jim Farley called on the federal government to do more to support a transition to electric vehicles in a IInterview with CNN International. The long-term success of the business will require investments in infrastructure and the supply chain, as well as subsidies for people to buy electric cars. Without all of this, the U.S. economy risks being left behind by the rest of the world, Farley said.
“Basically, we need support to help clients make this transition financially,” he said in an interview with CNN International. “These are expensive vehicles. We have seen in Europe, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and China governments where they have stepped on the economy to get customers to switch to these vehicles. need that support. “
The two sites, one in Kentucky and one in Tennessee, will employ a total of about 11,000 people, and between them, the sites will include three electric vehicle battery factories and one electric pickup truck factory.
The Tennessee site, which will be called Blue Oval City – a reference to the Ford logo – will cover 3,600 acres, three times the size of Ford’s famous River. Red Complex in Dearborn, Michigan. It will employ 5,800 people and will include a battery manufacturing plant, battery material recycling facilities, areas for various parts suppliers and an assembly plant for building F-Series electric trucks.
Ford’s first mainstream all-electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E, went on sale last year, and the Ford E-Transit electric commercial van will go on sale later this year. The Ford F-150 Lightning, its first full-size, all-electric truck, is expected to go on sale next year.
The trucks that will be built at the new location will not be F-150 Lightnings, said Lisa Drake, Ford’s chief operating officer, but future models of F-Series electric trucks. Ford is building the F-150 Lightning in Dearborn, and the company plans to put it on sale next year.
The Tennessee site also includes open space for future expansion, Drake said.
“The future of electric vehicles will change over the next decades, and we want to be able to increase capacity as the market for electric vehicles grows,” she said.
It was important to include a space for suppliers inside the facility, Drake said, as Ford tries to take more control of its parts supply chain. Ford and other automakers have had to halt or slow production of some models in recent months due to supply restrictions on computer chips and other critical parts. Ford wants to avoid this kind of problem with its supply of electric vehicle batteries, Drake said.
The smaller facility, to be built in Kentucky, will be called BlueOvalSK Battery Park. SK Innovations is working with Ford on battery manufacturing, and the Kentucky site will employ 5,000 additional people. It will produce lithium-ion batteries in two identical battery factories located next to each other. These two plants will be identical in size and configuration to the Third Battery Plant in Tennessee. The three battery factories were designed to be exactly the same, Drake said, to simplify their construction.
Factories will start producing batteries and trucks in 2025, Ford executives said.
Blue Oval City’s manufacturing facilities are designed to be carbon neutral, Ford said. In other words, they will not increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The companies also expect factories there to send zero waste to landfills, the automaker said.
Blue Oval City, the large Tennessee site, will include a battery material recycling facility that will recycle battery manufacturing waste so that it can be reintroduced to battery factories. The recycling facility will be operated by Redwood Materials, a company founded by former Tesla senior executive JB Straubel. Ford recently announced a $ 50 million investment in Redwood to help the battery recycling startup expand its operations. Redwood said it can recover more than 95% of elements such as cobalt, lithium, copper and nickel from batteries.
Workers at the plant will be able to vote on whether or not they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union which represents employees at other Ford factories, Drake said. Ford executives declined to comment specifically on the types of incentives the company has received from respective states beyond grants for training potential employees.
Ford also announced that it will invest a total of $ 525 million across the United States over the next five years to train electric vehicle repair technicians.
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