Ford and Korean electronics giant SK have broken ground on the BlueOval SK Battery Park, a $5.8 billion joint venture that will produce advanced batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles (EVs).
The battery plant is slated to begin production in 2025, creating 5,000 new jobs in Kentucky. The location will house two battery manufacturing facilities capable of collectively producing more than 80 gigawatt hours annually.
Ford said the construction progress at the plant will bring Ford closer to its target of producing an annual rate of 2 million EVs globally by the end of 2026.
Ford announced it would invest an additional $20 billion to the already $22 billion the company is spending on the transition to electrification. Of this original $22 billion includes the two new mega campuses in Tennessee and twin battery plants in Kentucky.
Ford will transition to electric models as the primary business starting in 2030. Ford said it will only sell EVs in Europe by 2030, completely phasing out its gas-powered vehicles in the region. Previously, Ford opened a battery lab in Ion Park, specifically for all-EVs.
Ford said it is seeing strong demand for its Ford F-150 Lightning truck, E-Transit and Mustang Mach-E EVs. Earlier this year, Ford said it had 200,000 reservations for its F-150 Lightning trucks.
These new factories will deliver a carbon-neutral manufacturing system and will help the company reach carbon neutrality.
The 1,500-acre BlueOval SK Battery Park will be co-branded as a learning facility within the Kentucky Community College system and will include a $25 million investment by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The curriculum in the 42,000 sq ft training facility will support battery knowledge, roles and skills and BlueOval SK will train employees in technical, quality and manufacturing processes in virtual reality labs, industrial maintenance labs, work simulation labs and ergonomics techniques classrooms.