Ford gets into battery manufacturing, commits to 60 GWh factory in the US with SK Innovation

Ford announced that it is getting into battery manufacturing by committing to a 60 GWh factory in the US as part of a joint venture with Korea’s SK Innovation.

It was only a few years when Ford didn’t see much value in getting into battery cell production, but things have changed.

The automaker is now fully invested in the electric transition, and if you want to produce electric vehicles in volume, you need to secure a lot of battery cells.

Since Tesla’s partnership with Panasonic, several automakers have followed into partnerships with battery manufacturers to further secure supply.

For example, GM has partnered with LG Energy Solutions for the Ultium battery platform.

Now Ford is announcing its own joint venture with SK Innovation to produce battery cells in the US:

“Ford and SK Innovation announced today they have signed an MoU to create a joint venture – to be called BlueOvalSK – to produce approximately 60 GWh annually in traction battery cells and array modules, starting mid-decade, with potential to expand.”

The announcement comes just after the unveiling of the Ford F-150 Lightning and a few weeks after the automaker announced a new battery R&D investment and team called “Ford Ion Park.”

Ford predicts it’s going to need about 240 GWh of battery cell annually by 2030, and this new partnership is going to help them get there.

Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, commented:

“This MoU is just the start; it’s a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future. We will not cede our future to anyone else.”

The new partnership is going to start producing cells starting “mid-decade,” and Ford is talking about “next-gen cells” without going into details.

However, the press release about the new joint-venture mentions Ford’s investment in Solid Power, a solid-state battery startup aiming to bring its next-gen solid-state batteries to production also around mid-decade.

Ford recently participated in a $130 million investment round in Solid Power.

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