Monday, April 22, 2024
BusinessFord Taps Michigan for New LFP Battery Plant

Ford Taps Michigan for New LFP Battery Plant

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Ford announced it is investing $3.5 billion to build the country’s first automaker-backed LFP battery plant, offering customers a second battery technology within Ford’s EV lineup.

This plant – called BlueOval Battery Park Michigan – initially will employ 2,500 people when production of LFP batteries begins in 2026. Ford will have the option to further grow its battery capacity at its Marshall, Michigan, plant, which will be part of a wholly owned Ford subsidiary.

With this $3.5 billion investment, Ford and its battery tech collaborators have announced $17.6 billion in investments in electric vehicle and battery production in the United States since 2019, as part of the company’s commitment to invest over $50 billion in electric vehicles globally through 2026. In the next three years, these investments will lead to more than 18,000 direct jobs in Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Missouri and more than 100,000 indirect jobs, according to the methodology from a 2020 independent study.

Diversifying and localizing Ford’s battery supply chain in the countries where it builds EVs will improve availability and affordability for customers while strengthening consumer demand. Ford is working to deliver an annual run rate of 600,000 electric vehicles globally by the end of this year and 2 million globally by the end of 2026 as part of its Ford+ plan.

As the company rapidly scales EV production, introducing LFP batteries allows Ford to produce more electric vehicles and offer more choices to new EV customers, and helps support the company’s goal of an 8 percent EBIT margin for Model e by 2026.

In addition to LFP batteries being less expensive to produce than NCM batteries, bringing this new LFP plant to America reduces traditional shipping and import costs. Building in Michigan, Ford will benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act – creating one of the lowest-cost U.S.-produced batteries when the plant comes online in 2026.

LFP Battery Chemistry to Benefit Ford Customers

Offering LFP as a second battery chemistry – in addition to nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) – allows Ford customers to choose an electric vehicle with unique battery performance characteristics most aligned with their needs.

LFP batteries are very durable and tolerate more frequent and faster charging while using fewer high-demand, high-cost materials. This lower-cost battery, at scale, will help Ford contain or even further reduce EV prices for customers. These LFP batteries will power a variety of affordable, next-generation Ford EV passenger vehicles and trucks under development, most of which will be assembled in the U.S.

“Ford’s electric vehicle lineup has generated huge demand. To get as many Ford EVs to customers as possible, we’re the first automaker to commit to build both NCM and LFP batteries in the United States,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “We’re delivering on our commitments as we scale LFP and NCM batteries and thousands, and soon millions, of customers will begin to reap the benefits of Ford EVs with cutting-edge, durable battery technologies that are growing more affordable over time.”

Even before the new battery plant opens, Ford will introduce LFP batteries on Mustang Mach-E this year and F-150 Lightning in 2024 to increase production capacity, with a goal of reducing wait times for customers.

Commitment to American Manufacturing

This all-new battery production facility in Michigan will add approximately 35 gigawatt hours per year of new battery capacity for Ford in the U.S. initially – capable of powering approximately 400,000 future Ford EVs.

As part of Ford’s plan to offer a new battery chemistry and source in key regions where it produces EVs, Ford has reached a new agreement with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) – the world’s leading battery manufacturer. Under the arrangement, Ford’s wholly owned subsidiary would manufacture the battery cells using LFP battery cell knowledge and services provided by CATL, which has operated 13 plants in Europe and Asia. Ford engineers will integrate these LFP battery cells into its vehicles.

This new agreement with CATL adds to Ford’s existing battery capacity and available battery technology made possible through a series of key collaborations – including with SK On and LG Energy Solution (LGES).

Sustainable EV Supply Chain

LFP battery technology helps reduce reliance on critical minerals such as nickel and cobalt and is in line with Ford’s work to create an EV supply chain that upholds its commitments to sustainability and human rights.

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