Battery plant key to Ford EV affordability reportedly set for Michigan

Ford is reportedly partnering with the world’s largest provider of EV battery cells, China’s CATL, for a plant in Michigan that may produce them for upcoming Ford electrical automobiles, in line with Friday afternoon stories from the Detroit News and Bloomberg

Exterior of Ford’s $11.4 billion electrical truck manufacturing complexes in Tennessee and Kentucky and its BlueOvalSK enterprise with South Korea’s SK On, the reportedly chosen website round Marshall, Michigan, might show to be a very powerful industrial operation but because the automaker seeks higher profitability from its EVs. 

BlueOvalSK Battery Park - rendering, September 2021

BlueOvalSK Battery Park – rendering, September 2021

In keeping with the Detroit Information report, the mission might create roughly 2,500 jobs and draw at the very least a $2.5 billion funding. Beneath an association that seems to deviate from present joint ventures, Ford would personal the land and plant, handle the workforce, and obtain any state incentives.

The power will reportedly make lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are typically cheaper. Resulting from a extra secure provide of the vital supplies they want, the supplies that go into them are much less topic to cost volatility. However the tradeoff has been that these cells are considerably heavier for the quantity of power they retailer, and cold-weather charging can gradual dramatically. 

CATL third-generation cell-to-pack tech

CATL third-generation cell-to-pack tech

These might not be such disadvantages by the point the automobiles attain market. CATL has already proven LFP cells, together with its newest cell-to-pack know-how, can obtain power densities near that of present lithium-ion battery packs.

Ford mentioned final yr that LFP batteries are sure for the Mustang Mach-E, Ford F-150 Lightning, and maybe different merchandise, as they ramp up, maybe permitting Ford to chop costs as a result of a pending EV worth battle and/or obtain higher profitability. 

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

CEO Jim Farley mentioned final week that Ford’s future EVs might be “radically simplified,” because it seeks to make use of the smallest doable battery packs, decrease elements, and streamline the meeting course of for upcoming EVs. 

In keeping with the stories, an announcement on the ability is due Monday.