Ford, SK to invest $11.4 bln to add electric F-150 plant, three battery factories

Ford, SK to invest $11.4 bln to add electric F-150 plant, three battery factories

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DETROIT/SEOUL — Ford Motor Co and its Korean battery accomplice SK Innovation will make investments $11.4 billion to construct an electrical F-150 meeting plant and three battery vegetation in the US, accelerating the U.S. automaker’s push into electrical automobiles.

Ford mentioned on Monday it now expects to have 40% to 50% of its world automobile quantity to be all-electric by 2030, up from its prior forecast of 40%.

The businesses intend to create almost 11,000 jobs by opening meeting and battery vegetation in Stanton, Tennessee, and two further battery factories in Glendale, Kentucky, as a part of Ford’s beforehand introduced plan to spend greater than $30 billion by means of 2030 on electrification, Ford mentioned. Crops on each websites will open in 2025.

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Monday’s announcement is the only largest manufacturing funding in Ford’s 118-year historical past.

The Tennessee meeting and battery complicated can be about thrice the dimensions of Ford’s sprawling, century-old Rouge manufacturing complicated in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford North American Chief Working Officer Lisa Drake informed Reuters in an interview. She emphasised there can be room to develop on that website.

“For us, it is a very transformative level the place we’re placing our capital in place now in a really massive approach to lead the transition to EVs,” Drake mentioned.

The No.2 U.S. carmaker’s portion of the funding is $7 billion, with SK overlaying the remainder. The businesses will make investments $5.8 billion in Kentucky, and $5.6 billion in Tennessee.

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The South Korean battery maker, which provides electrical automobile batteries to Ford Motor and Hyundai Motor Co amongst others, has battery manufacturing websites in the US, Hungary, China and South Korea.

With its three further battery factories and two battery vegetation in Georgia, SK Innovation is about to safe an annual capability of about 150 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of batteries in the US.

SK Innovation mentioned it expects to exceed the aim of securing an annual world manufacturing capability of 200 GWh of batteries by 2025. Its present capability stands at 40 GWh.

Shares of SK Innovation rose as a lot as 3.6% to hit a close to two-week excessive of 260,500 gained in morning commerce, versus the broader market KOSPI’s 0.8% fall. Ford closed up 2.8% on Monday.

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Ford, which plans to launch the electrical F-150 Lightning pickup truck subsequent spring, has moved extra aggressively to roll out its EV technique below Jim Farley, who took over as chief government final October. Earlier this month, Ford doubled deliberate manufacturing capability in Dearborn, Michigan, for the F-150 Lightning https://www.reuters.com/enterprise/autos-transportation/exclusive-ford-doubles-lightning-production-target-strong-pre-launch-demand-2021-08-23 to 80,000 yearly because of robust pre-launch demand for the electrical pickup.

Ford and different automakers are pushing onerous to arrange for the rollout of EVs as nations and areas reminiscent of China and Europe search higher discount of auto emissions.

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The deliberate lithium-ion battery vegetation construct on a memorandum of understanding introduced by Ford and SK in Could. The battery vegetation can be collectively owned with SK and have a mixed annual capability of 129 GWh of batteries, which might energy about 2.2 million EVs when totally operational, greater than double the extent outlined in Could, Drake mentioned. The brand new capability can be sufficient to energy greater than 1 million EVs.

Ford beforehand mentioned its world EV plan requires at the very least 240 GWh of battery cell capability by 2030, equal to about 10 vegetation that can be positioned in North America, Europe and China. SK has mentioned it goals to ramp up annual world battery capability to greater than 200 GWh in 2025.

TENNESSEE MEGA CAMPUS

As a part of Monday’s announcement, Ford will construct a 3,600-acre “mega campus” in west Tennessee known as Blue Oval Metropolis that can make use of 5,800 individuals and embody the meeting plant, lithium-ion battery manufacturing and a provider park, Drake mentioned. Blue Oval performs off Ford’s title for its company emblem.

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The brand new Tennessee meeting plant will construct the subsequent technology of the Lightning, utilizing a devoted EV platform, following its launch subsequent 12 months, Drake mentioned. The preliminary Lightning mannequin can be constructed on a platform closely derived from the gasoline-powered F-150.

Drake didn’t disclose the deliberate manufacturing capability for the Tennessee truck plant.

The positioning will even embody zero-waste-to-landfill processes to seize supplies and scrap.

In central Kentucky, Ford will construct BlueOvalSK Battery Park, using 5,000 individuals. The positioning will consist of dual vegetation constructing lithium-ion batteries for Ford and Lincoln electrical automobiles, beginning in 2025. The second manufacturing unit will open the next 12 months.

The businesses will obtain $500 million in incentives from Tennessee and nearly $300 million in addition to greater than 1,500 acres of land from Kentucky.

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The United Auto Employees union, which represents Ford’s U.S. hourly employees, has mentioned the automaker has a “ethical obligation” to ensure any battery plant jobs are good-paying union jobs. Drake mentioned that can be decided by the employees, however added Ford emphasised to SK it should not be anti-union.

Monday’s announcement builds on Ford’s deal final week to accomplice with Redwood Supplies to type a round provide chain for EV batteries, from uncooked supplies to recycling. Redwood can be situated at Ford’s Tennessee website.

Ford mentioned on Monday it would individually spend $525 million over the subsequent 5 years to fund job coaching and profession readiness initiatives for U.S. auto technicians to assist put together for the shift to EVs. That program begins in Texas, the place Ford is spending $90 million alone. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Further reporting by Heekyong Yang in Seoul; Enhancing by Matthew Lewis and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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In-depth reporting on the innovation economic system from The Logic, dropped at you in partnership with the Monetary Publish.

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