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The U.S. Department of Energy is gearing up to divvy out a $9.2 billion loan to a Ford Motor JV to finance EV battery plants.
The loan comes courtesy of the Inflation Reduction Act—a massive spending bill designed to earmark monies in part that will be used to help spur clean energy projects.
The $11.4 billion JV known as BlueOval SK was finalized last year, and is set to construct three battery plants: two in Kentucky and one in Tennessee. Ford is set to contribute $7 billion to the BlueOval project, and South Korean battery maker SK will chip in $4.4 billion. According to Ford, it is the single largest ever manufacturing investment by a U.S. automaker.
The three factories are expected to produce 129GW of battery cells per year, according to Ford’s 2021 press release, as part of the company’s ambitious plan to produce 2 million vehicles per year by the end of 2026. That’s a marked increase from its 2022 production for EVs of 132.000. Ford anticipates that its EV division will lose $3 billion this year.
BlueOval CEO Robert Rhee said that Ford would use the loan to create 7,500 American jobs.
“This is a transformative moment where Ford will lead America’s transition to electric vehicles and usher in a new era of clean, carbon-neutral manufacturing,” Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford said of the project in 2021. “With this investment and a spirit of innovation, we can achieve goals once thought mutually exclusive – protect our planet, build great electric vehicles Americans will love and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”
The complex where the three plants will be located, BlueOval City, will be among the largest auto manufacturing campuses in U.S. history.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.