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Ford Motor and SK On break ground at JV battery plant in U.S.

Ford Motor and SK On break ground at JV battery plant in U.S.
Photo courtesy of SK On

U.S. automaker Ford Motor Company and South Korean EV battery manufacturer SK On have broken ground at BlueOval SK Battery Park in Glendale, Kentucky, in the United States. Their joint venture—BlueOval SK—has invested USD5.8 billion to produce advanced batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles (EVs). The battery plant in Kentucky is scheduled to start production in 2025.

A second U.S. plant, located in in Stanton, Tennessee, called BlueOval City, Ford’s largest and most advanced auto production complex broke ground in September 2022. Production at BlueOval City is scheduled to begin in 2025.

The two massive EV battery manufacturing facilities are capable of collectively producing more than 80 gigawatt (GW) hours annually.

“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.”

Significant construction progress at BlueOval SK Battery Park brings Ford closer to its target of producing an annual run rate of two  million electric vehicles globally by the end of 2026.

“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,” said Lisa Drake, vice president, Ford EV Industrialization, “Ford is building on more than a century of investment in Kentucky and its incredible workforce.”

BlueOval SK Battery Park will train 5,000 new workers at the new Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) BlueOval SK Training Center, located on the 1,500-acre BlueOval SK Battery Park site.

“At BlueOval SK Battery Park, we’re building the future – state-of-the-art batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles and a bright future for the workforce in Kentucky,” said David Hahm, BlueOval SK CEO. “In order to produce these batteries, we need a premier workforce that is trained in the latest battery and advanced manufacturing technology.”

The ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center is the only co-branded learning facility within the Kentucky Community College System and represents a USD25 million investment by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will begin construction of the ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center in 2023 and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.