Ford has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with LG and KOÇ Holdings to construct a battery production facility in Ankara, Turkey.
While Ford has outlined a massive electric production overhaul in North America, it has yet to do so in Europe. However, as Europe has officially mandated that combustion engines be phased out by 2035, the Blue Oval is now rededicating to the market and now plans to construct a battery production facility in the area to do so.
With construction starting this year, Ford states that its new plant with LG and KOÇ Holdings will be capable of producing 25GWh of battery cells annually when it opens in 2026. After opening and establishing production, Ford plans to eventually ramp this production facility, “potentially reaching 45GWh” annually, making it one of the largest battery plants on the continent.
LG has already worked with Ford Europe to supply the automaker with batteries at its assembly plant in Poland. However, this would be the Korean battery maker’s first JV facility with Ford. The other MOU partner, KOÇ Holdings, a Turkish industrial conglomerate, has worked with Ford at the automaker’s assembly locations in Turkey.
“Ford continues to ramp up our electric vehicle plans as we scale to be a leader in the electric vehicle revolution. We are delivering on the commitment to produce batteries in the same region where we build electric vehicles. Establishing the new joint venture with LGES and KOÇ Holding will lay a solid foundation that is fundamental to building a thriving electric vehicle future for Ford in Europe,” said Lisa Drake, Ford VP of EV Industrialization.
Ford did not mention how much the Turkish facility would cost, nor was the battery chemistry of the plant defined. However, with the company introducing LFP batteries to its vehicles in the coming months, this new Turkish facility could supply vehicles for the European market.
Compared to North America, where Ford is constructing 10 new production locations, including two massive battery cell factories, Europe has not received the same treatment. In fact, earlier this month, Ford announced that it would be slashing jobs at some of its largest European production facilities as the company continues to electrify.
As for LG, this is far from the only battery plant that it is creating in conjunction with an automaker and not even the only one being constructed in Europe. LG has perhaps worked most closely with General Motors, which collaborated on establishing a battery joint venture company, Ultium. The Korean battery giant is constructing four facilities in North America as part of that partnership. Outside of that partnership, LG already operates six of its own battery factories globally, totaling 200GWh of capacity.
“Our long-time business relationship with Ford is the result of our commitment to deliver unmatched product competitiveness, stable yields, and global operational expertise, made possible by our extensive knowledge accumulated through pre-emptive investments in global markets,” said Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution.
To produce at least 2 million EVs annually by 2026, Ford has a massive production ramp ahead of it, and battery production facilities like the one announced today will be key for the brand to achieve this goal. Hopefully, with consumer demand continuing as it has, Ford should have no problem selling this wave of EVs to increasingly more interested consumers.
Source: William Johnson, Teslarati.com