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May 20, 2021

Ford confirms battery JV with SK Innovation

Following earlier media reports, Ford and SK Innovation confirmed a new US battery making joint venture.

Ford and SK Innovation confirmed earlier media reports they had signed an MoU to create a joint venture – to be called BlueOvalSK – to produce approximately 60 GWh annually in traction battery cells and array modules, starting mid-decade, with potential to expand.

“This MoU is just the start; it’s a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “We will not cede our future to anyone else.”

“We are delighted to be entering into collaboration with Ford, America’s leading and iconic automaker. Ford is one of the most active players in vehicle electrification today. We are proud to be opening this new chapter in their long history,” said Kim Jun, SK Innovation CEO & president. “Our JV with Ford will play a pivotal role in fleshing out the electric vehicle value chain in the United States, a key objective of the current US administration.”

The creation of the JV is subject to definitive agreements, regulatory approvals and other conditions. Next-gen cells and arrays will be used to power several future Ford battery electric vehicles.

“Through the JV, Ford and SKI will jointly develop and industrialise battery cells at scale that are tailored to deliver optimum performance and value for our Ford and Lincoln customers,” said Lisa Drake, Ford’s North America chief operating officer. “SKI is an important partner in helping deliver batteries with better range and value for our fully electric vehicles by mid-decade.”

Ford’s global BEV plan calls for at least 240 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery cell capacity by 2030 – roughly 10 plants’ worth of capacity. Approximately 140 GWh will be required in North America, with the balance dedicated to other key regions, including Europe and China.

“Global automakers have praised SK Innovations’ EV batteries for their safety, high capacity and long life,” said Jee Dong-seob, head of SK Innovation’s battery business. “SK Innovation will be supplying batteries for the fully electric version of Ford’s legendary and best-selling F-150 pickup truck. We are thrilled to be supporting the electrification of a vehicle that represents the very best of American automaking.”

SK operates a battery plant in Commerce, Georgia, serving two global OEMs, and is expanding capacity in the European Union and China.

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