Ford Motor Company announced Monday that it is partnering with South Korea-based energy company SK Innovations to construct two large manufacturing campuses for electric vehicles that will employ an estimated 11,000 workers. The campuses will comprise three EV battery manufacturing plants and a factory to build electric pickup trucks. To this end, the two companies are investing $11.4 billion, $7 billion of which Ford is fronting. According to the automaker, it is the largest ever manufacturing investment at one time by any automotive manufacturer in the U.S.
The larger, 3,600-acre campus in Stanton, Tennessee will house one battery plant and the EV factory, while the smaller, 1,500-acre campus in Glendale, Kentucky will house the other two battery plants. Combined, the plants will enable 129 gigawatt hours a year of U.S. production capacity for Ford. The campuses are expected to start production in 2025.
Anticipating electric vehicle growth in the coming years, Ford allotted open space at the Tennessee campus for future development, citing the need to “to be able to grow capacity as the EV market expands.”
Going a step further, Ford plans to make the Tennessee campus both carbon neutral and zero waste. With regard to the latter, Ford will capture materials and production scrap at an on-site collection center to sort and route materials for recycling or processing either at the plant or at off-site facilities. With the help of battery-recycling startup Redwood Materials, Ford will also repurpose spent batteries, which it says will “make electric vehicles more sustainable and affordable by localizing the supply chain.”
Ford also plans to invest $525 million in Texas over the next five years to train a workforce of highly competent EV technicians.
In comparison to automakers such as GM, Volvo, and Jaguar, who have already committed to phasing out fossil fuel–powered vehicles, Ford projects that 40% of its sales, worldwide, to be fully electric vehicles by 2030.
In a recent investor report, Jefferies noted that Ford’s $30 billion EV investment plan suggests the company is “hoping to benefit from any potential associated ESG premia that may be enjoyed by relative leaders such as GM today.”
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