$185M Ford Ion Park battery research center opening in 2022

Ford President Kumar Galhotra sees ‘opportunity’ in Biden’s fleet electrification plan

Ford gearing up to build battery-powered vehicles

Ford is establishing a new battery research center to help accelerate its transition toward becoming an electric automaker.

Ford Ion Park will be built at a yet to be determined location in southeastern Michigan next year and initially employ 150 battery technology and industry specialists, Ford Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer, Hau Thai-Tang announced Tuesday.

The $185 million facility will support efforts at other engineering locations and be used to develop new lithium-ion batteries and the manufacturing processes required to bring them to production, and also to explore future solid state technologies.

It will have the capability of conducting both laboratory-scale and pilot-scale production of new designs, on which Ford will collaborate with suppliers, universities and startups, Thai-Tang said.

Ford is investing $22 billion in electrified vehicles through 2025 and has pledged to become an all-electric brand in Europe by 2030.

Unlike Tesla, General Motors and Volkswagen, Ford hasn’t confirmed a move toward in-house production of batteries for its vehicles, but Thai-Tang said Ford Ion Park will allow it to prepare and build the capability to do that when the volume of electric vehicle output makes a strong case for the capital requirement required to do so.

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Ford recently launched the all-electric Mustang Mach-E in the U.S. and will add an electric version of its Transit commercial van late this year followed by an electric F-150 pickup in mid-2022.

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