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July 28, 2021

Ford names location for new battery development centre

Ford has announced a location for its new battery development centre.

By Graeme Roberts

Ford Ion Park will be located in ROMULUS , Michigan, the automaker announced.

It will be a battery and cell research and development centre with manufacturing to follow later.

Ford Ion Park director Anand Sankaran said: “The new lab will help us speed up the battery development process to deliver even more capable, affordable batteries and is part of our renewed commitment to making Michigan a centerpiece of our focus on EVs.”

A new ‘collaborative learning lab’ will open in 2022. The ROMULUS facility will account for US$100m of the $185m the automaker is spending on developing, testing, and building vehicle battery cells and cell arrays.

Ford in 2010 decided to focus on EVs in Michigan and selected ROMULUS “with collaboration and expedited tech sharing in mind”.

The company will assemble the all-electric F-150 Lightning, using foreign and domestic parts, at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, adding 500 direct jobs with the support of the Good Jobs for Michigan Program. The 50-year-old Van Dyke Transmission Plant from last Mat became the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center and is expanding its production line to produce electric motors and electric transaxles for hybrid and fully electric vehicles, retaining 225 jobs.

At ROMULUS , Ford will refurbish an existing 270,000 sq ft facility to house 200 engineers and pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell and array design and manufacturing engineering and innovation.

The lab will pilot new manufacturing techniques for breakthrough battery cell designs with novel materials as part of its plan to vertically integrate battery cells and batteries.

It will work with the automaker’s battery benchmarking and test laboratory, the customer service division, plus key suppliers and service providers.

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