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July 15, 2022

SK, Ford launch new battery JV

SK On expects to play a central role in supplying Ford’s future EV battery requirements worldwide

South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer SK On Company has officially launched its new joint venture with Ford in the US, called BlueOval SK, marking, it said, an important milestone in the company’s overseas expansion.

SK On expects to play a central role in supplying Ford’s future EV battery requirements worldwide which it estimated would amount to around 240 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year by 2030. This includes 140GWh in North America which will be supplied largely by BlueOval SK and SK On’s wholly-owned local factories.

SK On said its 50:50 joint venture with Ford would build three lithium ion battery plants in the US by 2025 with a combined production capacity of 127GWh of batteries per year. The company claimed this would be enough to power 1.6 million EVs fitted with 80 kilowatt hour batteries per year.

SK On and Ford have agreed to spend a combined KRW10trn (US$7.8bn) to build an EV battery plant in Tennessee and two others in Kentucky in the next few years. BlueOval SK will initially be based in Georgia, where SK On operates an existing factory, before being relocated to the BlueOval City complex currently being built by Ford in Stanton, also in Tennessee.

Earlier this year the companies said they were considering building an EV battery plant in Turkey with local conglomerate Koc Holding with capacity of up to 45GWh per year to supply Europe, although the plans had yet to be formally announced.

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