Ford on Friday said it was “on track” with construction at its BlueOval City mega-campus, its electric vehicle and battery manufacturing campus in West Tennessee, which begins production in 2025 of the automaker’s second generation electric truck, code named Project T3, and will have capacity for 500,000 a year.
“BlueOval City is the blueprint for [our] electric future around the world,” said Bill Ford, the automaker’s executive chair. “We will build revolutionary electric vehicles at an advanced manufacturing site.”
Ford and battery maker SK On are spending US$5.6bn on the campus and creating 6,000 new jobs. The automaker has launched a comprehensive education and training effort called BlueOval Learning to prepare future employees.
BlueOval City is designed to be Ford’s first carbon neutral vehicle manufacturing and
battery campus as it works to power all of its plants with renewable and carbon-free electricity by 2035.
“Project T3 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to revolutionise America’s truck. We are melding 100 years of truck know how with world class electric vehicle, software and aerodynamics talent. It will be a platform for endless innovation and capability,” said Ford president and CEO Jim Farley.
“The manufacturing process will be equally breakthrough, with radical simplicity, cost efficiency and quality technology that will make BlueOval City the modern day equivalent of Henry Ford’s Rouge factory.
The facility is a key part of Ford’s plan to scale up EV production and make them more accessible – the company routinely reiterates its targeting of a production run rate of 2m worldwide by late 2026.
Ford is developing its second generation EV truck – following on from the F-150 Lightning – in tandem with the new assembly plant, resulting in efficiencies claimed never before possible such as a 30% smaller general assembly footprint than traditional plants while delivering higher production capacity.
Project T3 is short for Trust The Truck.
The assembly plant will use carbon free electricity from the day it opens and recovered energy from the utility infrastructure and geothermal system will provide carbon free heat for the assembly plant saving about 300m cubic feet of natural gas a year.
The new utility system will save 50 million gallons of water a year by reducing
evaporation from the site’s cooling towers and no fresh water will be used for assembly processes. Ford also intends to develop a stormwater management system separate from the water table and to send zero waste to landfill.
The fully integrated BlueOval SK manufacturing site will build battery cells and arrays and assemble packs that will be delivered just across the site into the assembly plant, in less than 30 minutes.
BlueOval City is also developing an on site supplier park and will have an upfit centre capable of adding dozens of features including robotically installed spray in bedliners and integrated tool boxes before the pickups are shipped to dealers.
To help reduce traffic congestion and emissions, the campus also has a Lowe’s store supplying building materials, two construction equipment rental companies and three concrete batch plants.