Energy & Environment

Ford planning $3.5B battery plant in Michigan

The 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E is displayed, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, in Romulus, Mich. The automaker plans to build a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant about 100 miles west of Detroit that would employ about 2,500 people. The plant was revealed Monday at a meeting of the Michigan Strategic Fund, which approved a large state tax incentive package for the project near the city of Marshall. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Ford Motor Co. announced plans on Monday to invest $3.5 billion in an effort to build the country’s first automaker-backed lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery plant in Michigan. 

In their news release, Ford said the BlueOval Battery Park Michigan plant will initially employ 2,500 people when production begins in 2026. The company further explained that the manufacturer will also have the option to grow its battery capacity at its other plant located in Marshall, Michigan. 

The new battery plant will add approximately 35-gigawatt hours per year of new battery capacity for the manufacturer in the U.S. — which is capable of powering approximately 400,000 of Ford’s future electric vehicles, the news release said.

Ford and its battery tech collaborators have already invested $17.6 billion in electric vehicle and battery production in the U.S. since 2019 as part of the company’s commitment to invest over $50 billion in electric vehicles globally through 2026, according to the announcement.

The company further noted that in the next three years, these investments will create more than 18,000 jobs in five U.S. states and create more than 100,000 indirect jobs, according to the methodology from a 2020 independent study.

“We are committed to leading the electric vehicle revolution in America, and that means investing in the technology and jobs that will keep us on the cutting edge of this global transformation in our industry,” Ford executive chair Bill Ford said in a statement. “I am also proud that we chose our home state of Michigan for this critical battery production hub.”

The announcement comes after Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) removed his state from the selection process for the new battery plant earlier this month, citing his concerns with Ford partnering with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), a Chinese battery manufacturer, for the new plant initiative. 

“This is an easy one where Virginia taxpayer money along with federal taxpayer money wasn’t going to go to the benefit of a [Chinese Communist Party]-influenced company and a workaround arrangement for what federal law is,” the governor told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto in an interview at the time.

Ford also announced a round of layoffs earlier this month, saying it will cut 3,800 jobs in Europe — primarily in its United Kingdom and German sectors — in the next three years, as the company focuses on streamlining its operations as it faces economic challenges to new competition in the electric vehicle department. 

The company also announced that it plans to introduce LFP batteries in its Mustang and F-150 models in the next few years to increase production capacity, with a goal of reducing wait times for customers.

Tags Electric vehicles Ford Ford Motor Co. Glenn Youngkin Glenn Youngkin Michigan

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