Fri. Jun 25th, 2021

Dane Hardware (correct), Ford style and launch engineer, and Mary Fredrick, Ford battery validation engineer, evaluate the voltage of a battery applying a electronic multimeter at Ford’s Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory in Allen Park, Michigan.


DETROIT — Ford Motor plans to commit $185 million into a new battery lab as a phase towards production its individual battery cells for electric powered cars, the enterprise introduced Tuesday.

The money will go towards setting up Ford Ion Park, a “pilot facility” for creation that is expected to open up by the close of up coming yr exterior Detroit. The prepared 200,000-sq.-foot lab is designed to speed up advancement of the systems as the company designs to “ultimately manufacture” new battery cells and batteries, according to Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s main merchandise system and operations officer.

Ford declined to explore a timeline for manufacturing battery cells internally. The business presently buys cells from suppliers these kinds of as South Korea-dependent SK Innovation.

Ford’s new facility will not be a full battery cell creation facility like Tesla has or like Standard Motors has declared as element of $4.6 billion investments in two U.S. battery cell generation crops with LG Strength Remedy.

Thai-Tang reported Ford thinks it nevertheless can make perception to buy the cells from suppliers till EVs come to be far more mainstream. EVs represented only about 2% of U.S. vehicle registrations past calendar year, in accordance to IHS Markit.

“We want to give Ford the overall flexibility and optionality to at some point vertically combine, and that was one of the drivers behind the creation of this battery heart of excellence in Ford Ion Park,” Thai-Tang explained to reporters all through a media briefing Tuesday. “It truly is truly for us to establish that know-how and competency in house, and give us that flexibility in the foreseeable future.”

Thai-Tang mentioned Ford will aim on “advancing” the following-technology of lithium-ion batteries that are utilised right now. The enterprise is also seeking into strong-point out lithium metallic batteries deemed safer and better than the cells on the industry now. He reported Ford plans to do so by inside perform as properly as collaborations.

Ford is using the services of 150 individuals for Ion Park and has already introduced on some staff members.

The expense and using the services of comes immediately after Ford set $100 million into a new battery benchmarking and test lab. The firm claimed it opened the facility last year in Allen Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The two investments incorporate to Ford’s strategies to put $22 billion into motor vehicle electrification from 2016 via 2025.

Ford’s initial new EV, the Mustang Mach-E, launched in the U.S. at the conclusion of very last 12 months. The firm expects to observe it with an all-electric powered Ford Transit van later on this yr and an EV variation of the Ford F-150 pickup by mid-2022.

Ford’s system to manufacture battery cells arrives 6 months right after new Ford CEO Jim Farley explained the automaker was “totally” intrigued in producing its individual batteries. Farley changed the training course established by his predecessor, Jim Hackett, who experienced stated the automaker noticed “no edge” in performing so. Farley succeeded Hackett on Oct. 1.

Ford’s announcement comes a working day prior to the corporation is scheduled to report its 1st-quarter earnings.

Shares of Ford are up by much more than 80% due to the fact Farley turned CEO, which include 40% in 2021. The company’s sector cap is far more than $48 billion.