Ford and SK Innovation to invest $11bn into electrification

Ford and SK Innovation plan to invest $11.4bn in developing manufacturing facilities for next generation electric F-Series trucks and batteries for future electric Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Described by Ford as bringing ‘electric vehicles at scale to American customers’, the new sites will be developed in Tennessee and Kentucky where nearly 11,000 new jobs will be created.

Investments in the new Tennessee and Kentucky battery plants are planned to be made via BlueOvalSK, a new joint venture to be formed by Ford and South Korea’s SK Innovation.

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The Stanton, Tennessee development will see the creation of Blue Oval City, a mega plant designed to be carbon neutral with zero waste to landfill once fully operational.

In central Kentucky, Ford plans to build a battery manufacturing complex with SK Innovation – the $5.8bn BlueOvalSK Battery Park – creating 5,000 jobs. Twin battery plants on the site are intended to supply Ford’s North American assembly plants with locally assembled batteries for powering next-generation electric Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

“This is a transformative moment where Ford will lead America’s transition to electric vehicles and usher in a new era of clean, carbon-neutral manufacturing,” said Ford executive chair Bill Ford. “With this investment and a spirit of innovation, we can achieve goals once thought mutually exclusive – protect our planet, build great electric vehicles Americans will love and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”

An all-new $5.6bn mega campus in Stanton, Tenn., called Blue Oval City, will create approximately 6,000 new jobs (Image: Ford Motor Company)

In a statement Ford said it expects 40 per cent to 50 per cent of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric by 2030.

Ford added that Blue Oval City will be among the largest automotive manufacturing campuses in US history with a 3,600-acre campus covering nearly six square miles to encompass vehicle assembly, battery production and a supplier park in a vertically integrated system. The assembly plant will use always-on cloud-connected technologies ‘to drive vast improvements in quality and productivity’. The mega campus is designed to add more sustainability solutions, including the potential to use local renewable energy sources including geothermal, solar and wind power.

The 1,500-acre BlueOvalSK battery manufacturing campus in Glendale, Kentucky is expected to open in 2025. Twin co-located plants will be capable of producing up to 43 gigawatt hours each for a total of 86 gigawatt hours annually.