Ford and South Korea’s SK Innovation have signed an MoU to create a joint venture – to be called BlueOvalSK – to produce approximately 60 GWh annually in traction battery cells and array modules. It will start mid-decade, with the potential to expand.
BlueOvalSK’s next-gen cells and arrays will be used to power several future Ford battery electric vehicles.
By 2030, Ford expects annual energy demand for its vehicles will be up to 140 GWh annually in North America and up to 240 GWh globally; the company has invested in and is working with a number of battery suppliers to secure capacity and scale delivery for next-generation Ford and Lincoln battery electric vehicles.
Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, says: “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. We will not cede our future to anyone else.”
“We are delighted to be entering into collaboration with Ford, America’s leading and iconic automaker. Ford is one of the most active players in vehicle electrification today. We are proud to be opening this new chapter in their long history,” adds Kim Jun, SK Innovation CEO & President. “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.”
Lisa Drake, Ford’s North America chief operating officer, comments: “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. SKI is an important partner in helping deliver batteries with better range and value for our fully electric vehicles by mid-decade.”
To support its longer-term battery plans, Ford is investing in battery R&D. In April, Ford announced a new global battery centre of excellence – named Ford Ion Park – to accelerate its battery and battery cell technology R&D – including future battery manufacturing.