ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Ford Motor Co. announced plans to build a new assembly plant and three battery factories, which will produce batteries for electric vehicles, reports the Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
Two of the battery plants will be located in Glendale, Ky., and the third battery plant and the assembly line will be in Stanton, Tenn. Ford will work with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation on the battery plants, which will produce batteries for one million EVs each year.
The assembly plant will produce Ford’s electric F-series trucks and will open in 2025. It’s been decades since Ford opened a new assembly line. The plant will be dubbed “Blue Oval City,” and Ford says it will be the largest, most efficient factory in Ford history, featuring "zero-waste-to-landfill" processes, and it is designed to achieve carbon neutrality and meet Ford’s air emission goals.
Ford is investing $11 billion in the endeavor. In May, Ford said it expects 40% of its global sales to be fully electric by 2030 and would spend $30 billion by 2025 to expand its electric lineup. Ford also plans to phase out vehicles it sells in Europe that are powered by fossil fuels. By 2026, the company will offer only electric and plug-in hybrid models there, and by 2030 all of Ford’s passenger cars will run solely on batteries in Europe.
Global supply-chain issues relating to the batteries and the minerals needed to produce them will increase as countries move toward electrification. Affordability and manufacturing are two of the key factors that will determine how quickly people will adopt EV technology, along with charging infrastructure and battery range.
"This is a really important strategic bet to insource these key components. It won’t be the last," Ford CEO Jim Farley told USA Today.
EV charging is a barrier to EV adoption. The U.S. has about 110,000 charging stations now, but energy and auto experts say the country needs at least five to 10 times that amount to make the president’s 2030 EV plan work.
Another roadblock in the driver transition to EVs is the availability of fast chargers, which charge an electric battery in 20 to 40 minutes, but they cost tens of thousands of dollars. These types of chargers are needed so EV drivers will be assured they won’t be caught with a dead battery and not near a charging station. NACS Magazine recently covered the stumbling blocks in the push for the fast chargers EV drivers want in its September 2021 issue.
Michigan announced last week that it will build the first road in the U.S. that charges electric cars while they’re driving on it.
Register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on electric vehicles and fuels, including these sessions developed by retailers for retailers: