Ford has turn out to be the #2 electrical car vendor within the USA, but it surely’s additionally now #1 in one thing within the subject. It’s the primary automaker to state that it’ll produce each NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) and LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries for electrical automobiles in the US.
The Michigan-based automaker is investing a full $3.5 billion into a brand new LFP battery manufacturing unit in Marshall, Michigan. Manufacturing is meant to start out in 2026 at “BlueOval Battery Park Michigan,” and a couple of,500 staff are anticipated to be employed within the course of. The battery manufacturing unit can have a manufacturing capability of about 35 GWh as soon as it’s up and working. That’s estimated to be sufficient batteries for 400,000 Ford electrical automobiles, vans, and SUVs.
LFP batteries have much less power density and energy density than NMC batteries, however they will also be cheaper and produce other advantages. For instance, they are often charged to 100% with out concern for battery degradation. And when you think about that NMC batteries ought to usually not cost above 80% (besides when actually wanted), with the ability to cost day by day to 100% makes a distinction and makes up for any potential distinction in rated vary on a full cost.
Some variations of the Ford Mustang Mach-E will begin utilizing LFP batteries this yr. The Ford F-150 Lightning will begin utilizing LFP batteries in some trims in 2024. Different Ford EVs will use LFP batteries, too, however the firm isn’t naming them but.
Including LFP batteries to its EV lineup is partly about including extra shopper alternative. “Providing LFP as a second battery chemistry – along with nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) – permits Ford clients to decide on an electrical car with distinctive battery efficiency traits most aligned with their wants,” Ford writes. “LFP batteries are very sturdy and tolerate extra frequent and sooner charging whereas utilizing fewer high-demand, high-cost supplies. This lower-cost battery, at scale, will assist Ford include and even additional cut back EV costs for patrons. These LFP batteries will energy a wide range of reasonably priced, next-generation Ford EV passenger automobiles and vans below improvement, most of which will likely be assembled within the U.S.”
“Ford’s electrical car lineup has generated large demand. To get as many Ford EVs to clients as attainable, we’re the primary automaker to commit to construct each NCM and LFP batteries in the US,” stated Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “We’re delivering on our commitments as we scale LFP and NCM batteries and hundreds, and shortly tens of millions, of shoppers will start to reap the advantages of Ford EVs with cutting-edge, sturdy battery applied sciences which are rising extra reasonably priced over time.”
Ford intends to succeed in an annual manufacturing run fee of 600,000 by the tip of 2023. It plans to continue to grow its EV efforts past this yr as effectively as a way to attain a manufacturing fee of two million by the tip of 2026.
This $3.5 billion funding within the LFP battery manufacturing unit is only a small a part of a a lot larger plan. Ford plans to speculate greater than $50 billion into the “EV revolution.” Within the USA, Ford and companions have already made bulletins of investments totaling $17.6 billion since 2019. These investments are estimated to create 18,000 direct jobs and 100,000 oblique jobs. These investments and jobs are going down in Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee.
The battery cells that may go into the battery packs produced in Michigan will come from China’s CATL. Ford additionally has battery partnerships with South Korea’s SK On (beforehand SK Innovation) and LG Vitality Answer (beforehand LG Chem).