Ford has doubled down on its EV investment to bring battery-electric vehicles to scale with two new facilities aimed at developing the next-generation vehicles for both brands under its umbrella. Together with its partner, South Korea’s SK Innovation, the Blue Oval will spend another $11.4 billion to create 11,000 new jobs in Tennessee and Kentucky where its two mega-sites will be located at.
Blue Oval City, which will be built in Stanton, Tennessee, will create 6,000 new jobs and re-imagine battery and vehicle manufacturing when it opens in 2025. It will be a vertically integrative ecosystem for Ford to assemble an expanded all-electric F-Series truck family. The facility will also include a BlueOvalSK battery plant and house supplier and recycling activity. Ford is designing the new facility to be carbon neutral with zero waste to landfill once it’s fully online. At 3,600 acres, Blue Oval City will be one of the largest manufacturing sites in the U.S., covering vehicle assembly, battery production, and a supplier park. The site’s vertical integration is intended to maximize cost efficiency and cut the manufacturing process’ carbon footprint. Always-on cloud-connected technologies to push for improvements in quality and overall productivity.
Ford will also use sustainable power sources that are locally produced to minimize Blue Oval City’s environmental impact. Ford notes that the new assembly plant’s goal is to have a regenerative impact on the local environment through biomimicry. It will feature an on-site wastewater treatment facility to make sure the facility doesn’t withdraw freshwater for assembly and incorporate water reuse and recycling systems. Zero-waste-to-landfill processes will capture materials and production scrap at an on-site collection center before sorting and routing them for recycling or processing at the plant or an off-site location.
Ford will collaborate with Redwood Materials, a leading battery materials company, to make EVs more sustainable and affordable for Americans. It will do so by localizing the supply chain network, create recycling options for scrap and end-of-life vehicles, and ramping up lithium-ion recycling.
Central Kentucky will be the home of a dedicated battery manufacturing plant in partnership with SK Innovation called the BlueOvalSK Battery Park. The investment in this site is $5.8 billion and will generate 5,000 jobs. Two facilities will be built there and supply the North American assembly plants making next-generation Ford and Lincoln vehicles with locally assembled battery packs. Investments made in the Tennessee and Kentucky battery plants are planned to be done via BlueOvalSK, which is Ford and SK Innovation’s joint venture that’s still subject to final regulatory approval.
In addition, Ford is also investing $90 million in Texas as part of a larger $525 million total investment across the U.S. over the next five years. The goal is to help transform the U.S. auto technician industry to support the move toward electric vehicles. This will go toward job training and career readiness initiatives for current and next-generation technicians so that they have the skills necessary to work on electrified vehicles.
The news of Ford further investing in electrification comes hot on the heels of strong demand for the Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, and E-Transit, and a recent expansion of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, MI. This investment is part of the largest in the company’s 118-year history, a $30-billion commitment to electric vehicles through 2025 as it does its part in creating vehicles via a sustainable American manufacturing ecosystem and push toward carbon neutrality. By 2030, Ford expects 40 to 50 percent of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric.