Making the transition to an all-electric future takes more than slick advertising campaigns and impressive range-per-charge figures – it’s also going to require a lot of batteries. General Motors has already announced the construction of several new battery plants in the U.S., and now, crosstown rival Ford is getting in on the game as well.
In a recent press release, Ford announced that it would manufacture battery cells and arrays at two plants in the U.S. for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The batteries will be produced under a new joint venture between Ford and South Korean battery maker SK Innovation. The new joint venture is dubbed BlueOvalSK.
“Through the JV, Ford and SKI will jointly develop and industrialize battery cells at scale that are tailored to deliver optimum performance and value for our Ford and Lincoln customers,” said Lisa Drake, Ford’s North America chief operating officer. “SKI is an important partner in helping deliver batteries with better range and value for our fully electric vehicles by mid-decade.”
The new joint venture will produce roughly 60 GWh worth of battery cells and array modules annually, with plans to begin production around the 2025 calendar year. Output will rise to 240 GWh by 2030, with 140 GWh for the U.S. market, and the remaining 100 GWh for the Chinese and European markets.
Ford recently pulled the sheets on the 2022 F-150 Lightning, the all-electric variant of the automaker’s popular pickup truck. The extended-range F-150 Lightning is equipped with two electric inboard motors, producing upwards of 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque. So equipped, the sprint to 60 mph takes roughly 4.5 seconds, while range-per-charge is set at 300 miles. The standard F-150 Lightning produces 426 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, and can range out to 230 miles.
Meanwhile, General Motors is constructing two battery plants in the U.S. under a joint venture with LG Chem, including a facility in Lordstown, Ohio, and another near the automaker’s Spring Hill Assembly plant in Tennessee.