Ford Goes for EV Battery Independence with ‘Ion Park’ R&D, Production Site

UPDATE 7/27/2021: Ford said its battery center, to be named Ford Ion Park, will be located in the city of Romulus, Michigan, which is near Detroit’s Metro airport. The automaker will hire up to 200 engineers, researchers, and other new employees for the center, where it will develop and manufacture solid-state and lithium-ion batteries.

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.

From: Car and Driver

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