Ford will double down on its electric vehicle effort, with a new battery plant planned to begin next year in Romulus, Michigan. Ford will renovate a 270,000 square-foot complex to accommodate up to 200 researchers, engineers, buying, and finance executives. “World-class pilot-scale infrastructure for electrode, cell, and array design, production engineering, and innovation” will be available at the site.
The new Ford Ion Park collaborative learning lab comprises $100 million of the car maker’s $185 million commitment in designing, testing, and manufacturing electric car cell arrays and battery cells. It’s also part of the firm’s $30 billion electrification plan, which will be completed by 2025.
“With powerful new vehicles like the Mustang Mach-E, 2022 E-Transit due late 2021, and 2022 F-150 Lightning readily accessible from spring next year,” Anand Sankaran, who serves as Ford Ion Park director, said in a statement. “The new lab will assist Ford in speeding up the battery development process to produce even more competent, inexpensive batteries, and it is part of Ford’s renewed dedication to making Michigan a focal point of its EV effort.”
Ford recently revealed that its F-150 Lightning pickup truck, which is a new all-electric, will be produced at Rogue Electric Vehicle Center situated in Dearborn, Michigan, resulting in the creation of 500 new direct employment. Ford also went on to rename its Van Dyle Transmission Plant to Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center in May, announcing that it would extend its production line to create electric transaxles and electric motors for fully and hybrid electric vehicles, retaining about 225 Michigan jobs in the process.
“Ford’s investment in research and development of battery in Romulus will promote hundreds of good-paying jobs, draw inventive people to Michigan, and help us continue to lead the world in sophisticated mobility and manufacturing,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Ford is an American icon that has left its stamp on the world for more than a century, and the experiment that will occur at Ford Ion Park will help define the next century while cutting emissions and speeding electrification.”
Ford’s electrified vehicle sales rose 117 percent in June, setting a half-year high of 56,570 units. Meanwhile, Ford’s overall car sales for the month fell 26.9% year over year, as the automotive industry continues to be hammered by a persistent semiconductor chip shortage.
Ford intends to launch a joint venture with South Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovation to produce battery cells for electric cars in the United States. The two companies announced that they had signed a cooperation agreement for a joint venture called BlueOvalSK.