Ford announced on Monday that it plans to build two massive complexes in Tennessee and Kentucky focused on electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries.
Blue Oval City will be a 6-square mile site in west Tennessee designed to construct electric F-Series pickups and advanced batteries while BlueOvalSK Battery Park in central Kentucky will have two battery plants building tech for a new line of Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles.
The effort will see Ford invest $11.4 billion to create about 6,000 jobs in Stanton, Tennessee and 5,000 in Glendale, Kentucky. Ford is partnering with SK Innovation on the effort and said work on the electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries will begin in 2025.
Ford said in a statement that it would also be working with Redwood Materials on a “closed-loop domestic battery recycling” system and increase production of the electric F-150 Lightning in Dearborn, Michigan.
Ford is also planning to invest another $90 million in Texas “to train skilled technicians to service connected, electric zero-emission vehicles.”
The car manufacturing giant is spending nearly $6 billion to build the plant in Stanton and said it will be “a vertically integrated ecosystem” that is designed to be “carbon neutral with zero waste to landfill once fully operational.”
The Glendale plant will cost Ford $5.8 billion and will supply the company’s North American assembly plants with batteries as they construct the new lines of Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles.
Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford said the company will “lead America’s transition to electric vehicles and usher in a new era of clean, carbon-neutral manufacturing.” He went on to say the company wanted to protect the planet and create a new generation of electric vehicles.
“We are moving now to deliver breakthrough electric vehicles for the many rather than the few,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley. “It’s about creating good jobs that support American families, an ultra-efficient, carbon-neutral manufacturing system, and a growing business that delivers value for communities, dealers and shareholders.”
Ford said they were making the investment because of increasing demand for electric vehicles, particularly their Ford F-150 Lightning truck, E-Transit and Mustang Mach-E electric vehicles.
The company said that by 2030, they expect 40% to 50% of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric. The new plants will take advantage of local renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar and wind power, according to Ford’s statement.
Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of Americas & International Markets Group, said the new investments will enable the company “to lead in the race to bring dependable, affordable and advanced electric vehicles to even more Americans.”
According to Ford, the plant in Blue Oval City will attempt to have a “regenerative impact on the local environment through biomimicry in design of the facility.” There will be an on-site wastewater treatment plant and Ford said it “aspires” to make no freshwater withdrawals for assembly processes by “incorporating water reuse and recycling systems.”
“Zero-waste-to-landfill processes will capture materials and production scrap at an on-site materials collection center to sort and route materials for recycling or processing either at the plant or at off-site facilities once the plant is operational,” Ford explained.
Through the partnership with Redwood Materials, they hope to recycle materials from scrap and end-of-life vehicles while also ramping up lithium-ion recycling.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the deal was the single largest investment in the history of the state and will transform the state’s economy.
“Our economy is on fire — or maybe it’s electric. Our time is now. Our future is now,” Beshear said.
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