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Ford To Build $185M EV Battery Research Center

Ford To Build $185M EV Battery Research Center

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) has announced plans to build a $185-million, 200,000-square-foot research center for the manufacturing of power sources for its electric vehicles.

What Happened: The new Ford Ion Park will be based in the Detroit metro area, with an opening scheduled for later this year. According to the automaker, the facility will have a 150-person workforce focused on the development and manufacturing of battery cells and batteries.

“We’re already scaling production of all-electric vehicles around the world as more customers experience and crave the fun-to-drive benefits of electric vehicles with zero emissions,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's chief product platform and operations officer. “Investing in more battery R&D ultimately will help us speed the process to deliver more, even better, lower cost EVs for customers over time.”

Separately, Ford is creating a $185 million collaborative learning lab in Southeast Michigan that will develop, test and build vehicle battery cells and cell arrays. This center, which has yet to be formally named, is slated to open late next year.

The new facilities expand on the work of Ford’s $100 million, 185,000-square-foot Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory in Allen Park, Michigan, which opened last year with 150 test chambers and 325 channels for development work.

See Also: What Can Be Done To Ramp Up EV Sales?

Why It Happened: The company, which can trace its involvement in electric vehicles and battery research back to founder Henry Ford and his collaborative work with Thomas Edison, has announced an investment commitment of at least $22 billion over the next four years to expand on its EV output. Ford currently offers the Ford Mustang Mach-E and plans to roll out the all-electric Ford Transit later this year and an all-electric F-150 arrives by mid-2022.

In Europe, Ford is aiming for an all-electric lineup by 2030, and the company allocated $1 billion in a new electric vehicle manufacturing center in Cologne, Germany, with production on all-electric passenger vehicles set to begin in 2023. The Mustang Mach-E is also being readied for production and sale in China later this year.

(Ford Motor Co.’s Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory in Allen Park, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Ford.)


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