Ford announced the creation of a battery development center in southwest Michigan. The initiative is the first step of the North American automaker in the own manufacture of energy cells for electric vehicles.
Named Ford Ion Park, the space aims to be a center of global excellence. Thus, a team of 150 specialists will be responsible for creating models with greater autonomy, support for fast loading and sustainable for the environment.
Scheduled to open in early 2022, the Ford Ion Park will act only as a research and development laboratory. According to Anand Sankaran, director of the center, the assembly of batteries will only take place on a “pilot scale”.
In this way, Ford has plans to build a new plant for the large-scale production of energy cells. However, no further details on the future installation or a forecast for its inauguration have been revealed.
“The Ford Ion Park is really a space for us to develop this competence internally and give us flexibility in the future”, adds Hau Thai-Tang, director of operations for the brand.
High investment in electrification
Still in the early stages of the transition to trams, Ford plans to spend $ 22 billion in the process. Of this amount, US $ 7 billion will be allocated to the development of autonomous vehicles by 2025.
In the coming years, most of the cars the company plans to put on the market will use lithium batteries. Among them, the recently launched Mustang Mach-E GT and a fully electric version of the F-150 pickup.
Although it is a financially risky move, Ford’s investment in own energy cell manufacturing may have profitable potential in the future. Likewise, it will be able to complement the production of its suppliers.