The company said that the next-gen cells and arrays will be used to power several future Ford battery electric vehicles
Ford Motors Co and SK Innovation announced that they have signed an MoU to create a battery-based joint venture, BlueOvalSK. The joint venture will produce approximately 60 GWh annually in traction battery cells and array modules, starting mid-decade, with the potential to expand, the company said.
“This MoU is just the start; it’s a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “We will not cede our future to anyone else.”
Kim Jun, SK Innovation CEO & President said, “Our JV with Ford will play a pivotal role in fleshing out the electric vehicle value chain in the United States, a key objective of the current U.S. administration.”
The company said that the next-gen cells and arrays will be used to power several future Ford battery electric vehicles.
Ford’s global BEV plan calls for at least 240-gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery cell capacity by 2030 – roughly 10 plants’ worth of capacity. Approximately 140 GWh will be required in North America, with the balance dedicated to other key regions, including Europe and China.
“Global automakers have praised SK Innovations’ EV batteries for their safety, high capacity and long life,” said Jee Dong-seob, Head of SK Innovation’s Battery Business. “SK Innovation will be supplying batteries for the fully electric version of Ford’s legendary and best-selling F-150 pickup truck. We are thrilled to be supporting the electrification of a vehicle that represents the very best of American automaking.”
SK already operates a battery plant in Commerce, Georgia, USA – serving two global OEMs – and is expanding its production capacity in the European Union and China.
Ford plans to lead the electric vehicle revolution – including by delivering fifth-generation lithium ion batteries as well as preparing for the transition to solid-state batteries, which promise longer range, lower cost and safer EVs for customers. Ford this year announced its commitment to invest at least $22 billion through 2025 to deliver connected, all-electric vehicles, building on its areas of strength, starting with EV versions of its most popular nameplates.
To support its longer-term battery plans, Ford is also investing in battery R&D. Last month, Ford announced a new global battery center of excellence – named Ford Ion Park – to accelerate its battery and battery cell technology R&D – including future battery manufacturing.
The creation of the JV is subject to definitive agreements, regulatory approvals and other conditions, said the company.