Ford may shift from SK On to LG to build 45 GWh battery plant in Turkey

Ford Motor Company will reportedly partner with LG Energy Solution to erect a new battery plant in Turkey capable of an annual capacity up to 45 gigawatt-hours (GWh). In order to work with LG, Ford will have to back out of a previous deal with SK On, the battery division of SK Innovation and a current partner on several other projects.

Even as the number of newer and younger automakers push the popularity and availability of electric vehicles, legacy automaker Ford has been able to remain relevant by embracing the technology as part of its current strategy to maintain its status as a global presence.

That transition into EVs has started on Ford’s home turf, but the automaker has also been teeing its electrified business up overseas with the support of new battery plants. In the US, Ford has committed to two plants as part of a joint venture with SK Innovation, including a 60 GWh battery plant.

In March of 2022, Ford shared plans for an initial battery plant in Turkey alongside SK Innovation division, SK On and Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding. The plan was to establish a battery facility in the country that could house a capacity between 30 and 45 GWh annually, scheduled to begin production in 2025.

According to a recent report, that appears to still be the plan, but the battery plant will be built alongside LG Energy Solution instead. All that said, Ford still has plenty of other projects in the pipeline through its joint venture with SK.

Ford battery plant
Ford’s current plant in Otosan, Turkey / Source: Ford Motor Co.

Ford’s Turkish battery plant expected to open by 2025

Automotive News Europe reports that Ford is looking to speed up its shift to EVs overseas and expand its list of battery suppliers. As a result, it will drop the aforementioned agreement with SK On in Turkey in favor of LG Energy Solution.

According to the report, two people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named, said both Ford and LG Energy Solution intend to sign a Memorandum of Understanding later this month, or early February at the latest.

Despite previous reports that the Turkish battery plant was being scrapped altogether, a spokesperson for Ford said the project remains on track. LG Energy Solution declined to comment.

Although SK On may be out on the Turkish plant, it is still very much involved in Ford’s battery development business. The two companies are currently building the two previously mentioned US plants in addition to a capacity expansion of Ford’s plant in Hungary.

Looking around the rest of the globe, Ford is also flirting with the idea of a battery plant in China with the assistance of CATL, the world’s current leader in battery production.

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