- ford announced today that it's starting a pilot r&d project called "ford ion park" where it hopes eventually to build enough battery cells to supply its growing lineup of electric vehicles, including the mustang mach-e (pictured) and forthcoming electric f-150 pickup.
- the automaker will spend $185 million on a lab, opening next year, to develop new manufacturing techniques for lithium-ion and solid-state battery packs for evs.
- the project will also involve work on improving the full production cycle, including research into the mining of needed resources and battery recycling.
ford announced today that it's going to spend millions on a "global battery center of excellence" in southeastern michigan that it has named "ford ion park." the r&d center will look for ways to make electric-vehicle batteries cheaper and develop them more quickly, as well as find ways to improve the entire battery development process, researching what's involved from the mining stage to recycling of used batteries.
the plan for ford to ensure an independent supply of batteries particularly makes sense in light of the current global semiconductor shortage, which has negatively affected production plans at many automakers including ford. ford has already been building its own hybrid battery packs and electric motors in michigan for nearly a decade, but by the end of 2021 the automaker plans to be building evs and components in 15 locations around the world, including china.
in addition to the ford ion park project, the battery benchmarking and test laboratory that ford opened in late 2020 at a cost of $100 million has already analyzed more than 150 types of battery cells in search of what ion park director anand sankaran called "next-generation lithium-ion solutions, including solid-state batteries." we'll bring more details about the project as they become available.