American legacy automaker Ford has plans to produce 600,000 EVs annually by 2023. The figures may seem tall, but Ford was churning out about 9,000 to 10,000 Model Ts per day in 1925, or roughly two million vehicles per year. Ford has the industrial might to fulfill its electrification goals and is making the right moves by partnering with the world’s leading suppliers.
Ford and South Korean EV battery developer SK On finalized a joint venture in July 2022 to build battery manufacturing facilities in Kentucky and Tennessee. For the new partnership, Ford and SK On have invested $5.8 billion to build the BlueOval SK Battery Park in Glendale, Kentucky. The 1,500-acre site will house two EV battery production facilities and the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC). This 5,000-member training center is the only co-branded learning facility of the Kentucky Community College System and draws funding from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
“Ford is building on more than a century of investment in Kentucky and its incredible workforce,” said Lisa Drake, Vice President of Ford EV Industrialization. “Ford’s roots run deep in Kentucky, and BlueOval SK is going to help Ford to lead the EV revolution, bringing thousands of new, high-tech jobs to the Bluegrass State.”
Ford and SK On broke ground at the BlueOval SK Battery Park in early December 2022. Ford claims the battery manufacturing plants could produce more than 80 gigawatt-hours and create 5,000 new jobs by 2025, just in time for the debut of new Ford and Lincoln electric cars. If all goes according to plan, Ford could produce up to two million new EVs by 2026. Meanwhile, construction for the new ECTC training center begins in 2023 and will finish by 2024.
“BlueOval SK Battery Park will be at the core of the electrification of the North American auto market,” said Jee Dong-seob, SK On President and CEO. “We expect SK On and Ford’s leadership in the global electric vehicle market to be solidified through BlueOval SK.”
Lastly, Ford has given back to the Glendale community by revitalizing the city’s parks and sidewalks through the automaker’s construction partners and supporting various projects like Habitat for Humanity, Feeding America, and the United Way of Central Kentucky.