Ford has announced a massive investment of $11.4 billion on a new assembly plant to make electric F-Series trucks, three separate gigawatt factories in a joint project with SK Innovation, which will allow the automaker to make its own batteries in Tennessee and Kentucky. It’s the largest single manufacturing investment in Ford’s 118-year history—of the $11.4 billion total investment, Ford is contributing $7 billion; SK Innovation will fund the rest.
The demand of the Ford’s f-50 Lighting pick up truck, which is going on sale in 2022 and already there are 150,000 bookings for the vehicle has helped to know the demand of electric vehicles in the buyers.
Chief executive officer Jim Farley, Ford is serious about an EV future and investing in billions. One-third of Ford F-Series sales are expected to be electric trucks by 2030, said Ford chief operating officer for North America Lisa Drake.
Ford will expand Rouge production with a massive campus in Stanton, Tennessee, outside Memphis, naming it Blue Oval City. It will be nearly six square miles, or three times the size of the Rouge complex, and will employ about 6,000 individuals. This campus will have a vehicle assembly plant for next-generation F-Series—F-150 Lighting as well as heavy-duty electric trucks presumably in the future—as part of the larger plan to grow the F-Series EV franchise and a BlueOvalSK battery manufacturing plant with a capacity of 43 GWh per year, which will be ready to go in 2025 to supply the truck assembly plant. This complex will also have a huge supplier park to feed both the truck assembly and battery plants. “The most important cost to control is the battery and the best way to do that is to be able to integrate raw materials on site,” Drake said. The second plant is under construction in Spring Hill, Tennessee, with production due to start in late 2023.
Ford and SK innovation will also invest $5.8 billion for dedicated battery manufacturing campus in Glendale, Kentucky. The first of the twin battery plants in Kentucky is scheduled to be up and running in 2025 and the sister plant is slated to go online in 2026. The 5,000 employees will supply batteries for new Ford and Lincoln vehicles in the pipeline. Overall, Ford expects 40-50 percent of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric by 2030.