With all the headlines Ford has been making regarding its upcoming EV production, it’s no surprise that they’ve also announced new plans for battery manufacturing. BlueOvalSK is the new venture between Ford and SK Innovation, a Korean energy company. BlueOvalSK will produce Ford electric vehicle batteries in the U.S.
The number of EVs in Ford’s lineup is increasing
The news comes as Ford is making plans to grow their electric vehicle lineup. Although EVs currently make up less than ten percent of Ford’s lineup, they plan to grow that number to forty percent by 2030. Ford intends to spend $30 billion on electric vehicles by 2025 to make that dream a reality. BlueOvalSK will produce electric vehicle batteries for Ford’s new vehicles.
In yesterday’s Capital Market’s Day, Ford announced two new electric vehicle platforms. These platforms will allow Ford to manufacture a wide range of electric vehicles. These two platforms mean Ford can use the same chassis and components to offer electric versions of favorite Fords.
Last month, Ford announced Ford Ion Park, an electric battery research center. Recently Ford said they want to be a leader in the electric vehicle business.
Ford already makes some popular electric vehicles
Ford is rolling out EV after EV. Currently Ford makes the Mustang Mach-E and the E-Transit electric van. Ford will be releasing an electric F-150 Lightning in 2022. Also at the Capital Market’s Day, Ford announced that they will be producing an electric Ford Explorer, their best-selling SUV.
Ford even hinted at an electric Ford Bronco by showing the outline of a large, “rugged” SUV with a spare tire.
SK Innovation will produce electric vehicle batteries for Ford
While not new to the EV market, SK Innovation is just set to be a major player in the electric vehicle battery market. SK Innovation is currently building a factory in Georgia. While the venture is new, Ford says that they could grow to have ten production plants around the country.
With all these electric vehicles, Ford’s going to need a whole lot of battery power
And it will get it, thanks to BlueOvalSK. Ford foresees needing 240 gigawatt hours’ worth of battery production, with 14-GWh specifically in North America. BlueOvalSK will start by producing 60 GWh in traction battery cells and array modules by the mid-2020s. 60 GWh is enough to power 600,000 vehicles.
Currently SK Innovation has a capacity of 40 GWh a year. According to Reuters, it plans to increase that to 125 GWh by 2025. This would allow it to produce enough batteries for 1.8 million electric vehicles.
The move will make Ford more competitive with GM, which aspires to have 100% of vehicles electric by 2035. GM is partnering with LG Energy Solutions for their battery production, Ultium Cells. While Ultium Cells already has two sites determined for battery factories (in Ohio and Tennessee), BlueOvalSK has yet to name a location.
SK Innovation was recently ordered to pay nearly $2 trillion to LG Energy Solution after a trade secret dispute. Once that matter settled, it freed up SK Innovation to continue its plans of selling EV batteries in the U.S.