Ford moves to make electric vehicle battery cells

Dane Hardware (appropriate), Ford style and release engineer, and Mary Fredrick, Ford battery validation engineer, measure the voltage of a battery employing a electronic multimeter at Ford’s Battery Benchmarking and Check Laboratory in Allen Park, Michigan.


DETROIT — Ford Motor programs to devote $185 million into a new battery lab as a stage toward production its very own battery cells for electrical vehicles, the enterprise announced Tuesday.

The resources will go towards constructing Ford Ion Park, a “pilot facility” for production which is envisioned to open up by the stop of future calendar year outside the house Detroit. The planned 200,000-square-foot lab is built to speed up development of the systems as the corporation ideas to “sooner or later manufacture” new battery cells and batteries, according to Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s main product system and functions officer.

Ford declined to go over a timeline for producing battery cells internally. The business now buys cells from suppliers these types of as South Korea-based mostly SK Innovation.

Ford’s new facility will not be a entire battery cell production facility like Tesla has or like Typical Motors has announced as element of $4.6 billion investments in two U.S. battery cell generation crops with LG Power Remedy.

Thai-Tang claimed Ford thinks it continue to would make perception to invest in the cells from suppliers until EVs develop into extra mainstream. EVs represented only about 2% of U.S. auto registrations very last 12 months, in accordance to IHS Markit.

“We want to give Ford the overall flexibility and optionality to finally vertically integrate, and that was a person of the drivers at the rear of the development of this battery middle of excellence in Ford Ion Park,” Thai-Tang told reporters all through a media briefing Tuesday. “It is genuinely for us to establish that experience and competency in dwelling, and give us that adaptability in the upcoming.”

Thai-Tang reported Ford will concentration on “advancing” the following-technology of lithium-ion batteries that are used nowadays. The firm is also on the lookout into stable-state lithium steel batteries regarded safer and improved than the cells on the marketplace now. He stated Ford strategies to do so by means of inner do the job as well as collaborations.

Ford is employing 150 people today for Ion Park and has already brought on some workforce.

The financial investment and hiring arrives just after Ford set $100 million into a new battery benchmarking and test lab. The company stated it opened the facility final year in Allen Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The two investments insert to Ford’s programs to set $22 billion into auto electrification from 2016 as a result of 2025.

Ford’s initial new EV, the Mustang Mach-E, released in the U.S. at the close of last year. The enterprise expects to comply with it with an all-electrical Ford Transit van afterwards this yr and an EV variation of the Ford F-150 pickup by mid-2022.

Ford’s plan to manufacture battery cells will come six months right after new Ford CEO Jim Farley explained the automaker was “unquestionably” intrigued in generating its possess batteries. Farley improved the course established by his predecessor, Jim Hackett, who had stated the automaker observed “no edge” in undertaking so. Farley succeeded Hackett on Oct. 1.

Ford’s announcement will come a working day before the company is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings.

Shares of Ford are up by about 60% considering that Farley grew to become CEO, such as 40% in 2021. The company’s marketplace cap is extra than $48 billion.