Ford Motor company and its partner SK Innovation will invest $11.4 billion to build two new battery plants and a new EV assembly plant outside Memphis TN. The complex dubbed “Blue Oval City” will produce a new generation of electric F-Series pickups as well as handle the processing of raw materials to the recycling of used batteries for components of new batteries at the BlueOvalSK Battery Park. The facility will be three times as large as Ford’s Rouge Assembly Complex. The new Complex is expected to be the cornerstone of Ford’s rapidly expanding transition from gas and diesel to battery powered powertrains. The automaker expects all electric models to account for 40% of the OEMs total U.S. sales by the end of the decade.
Lisa Drake Ford’s North American COO said she expects more than a third of all pickup truck buyers will go electric including a large share coming from the commercial segment. The complex will go into operation in 2025. When fully operational, the battery factories will have the capacity to produce enough batteries to power 1 million long range BEVs like the F-150 Lightning. Drake emphasised the scale of the operation and partnering with battery recycling company Redwood Materials is expected to bring the cost of batteries down from close to $200.00 per battery pack today to around $80.00. For reference, a price of a Mustang Mach-E with a 300 mile 98 kWh pack would drop by well over $10,000 making it on par with a comparable gas powered vehicle. “We are moving now to deliver breakthrough electric vehicles for the many rather than the few,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement regarding the announcement.