Ford just announced it is spending $11.4 billion to build two new factories in Tennessee and Kentucky to manufacture batteries and its electric F-series pickup trucks.
Together, they’ll create over 11,000 jobs, and the Tennessee factory will be Ford’s largest ever—and its first new American vehicle-assembly plant in decades.
“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,” said Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford. “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.”
This news comes amid strong demand for the all-new Ford F-150 Lightning truck, E-Transit, and Mustang Mach-E electric vehicles, and is on top of Ford’s recent announcement to expand production capacity and add jobs at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
“This is our moment—our biggest investment ever—to help build a better future for America,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “We are moving now to deliver breakthrough electric vehicles for the many rather than the few. It’s about creating good jobs that support American families, an ultra-efficient, carbon-neutral manufacturing system, and a growing business that delivers value for communities, dealers and shareholders.”
Ford’s $7 billion investment is the largest ever manufacturing investment at one time by any automotive manufacturer in the U.S.
Part of Ford’s more-than-$30 billion investment in electric vehicles through 2025, this investment supports the company’s longer-term goal to create a sustainable American manufacturing ecosystem, and to accelerate its progress towards achieving carbon neutrality, backed by science-based targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Overall, Ford expects 40% to 50% of its global vehicle volume to be fully electric by 2030.
“We are proud to be partnering with Ford as they open a new chapter in automobile history,” said Dongseob Jee, president of battery business SK Innovation. “We are excited to be taking this decisive leap together, as partners, and to bring about our common vision for a cleaner planet. Our joint venture, BlueOvalSK, will embody this spirit of collaboration. We look forward to growing our trust-based partnership by delivering on our market-leading value proposition, experience and cutting-edge expertise.”
All-new Ford Blue Oval City
Reimagining how electric vehicles—and the batteries that power them—are designed, manufactured, and recycled, Ford is creating an all-new electric vehicle manufacturing ecosystem.
Blue Oval City will be among the largest auto manufacturing campuses in U.S. history. Like the iconic Rouge complex in Michigan did a century earlier, Blue Oval City will usher in a new era for American manufacturing.
The 3,600-acre campus covering nearly six square miles will encompass vehicle assembly, battery production. and a supplier park in a vertically integrated system that delivers cost efficiency while minimizing the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process. The assembly plant will use always-on cloud-connected technologies to drive vast improvements in quality and productivity. The mega campus is designed to add more sustainability solutions, including the potential to use local renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar, and wind power.
“West Tennessee is primed to deliver the workforce and quality of life needed to create the next great American success story with Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “This is a watershed moment for Tennesseans as we lead the future of the automotive industry and advanced manufacturing.”
Creating approximately 6,000 jobs, Blue Oval City will be a hive of technical innovation to build next-generation electric F-Series trucks. This growth opportunity will allow Ford to reach new customers with an expanded electric truck lineup.
Bigger assembly plant, smaller environmental impact
Despite its size, the assembly plant at Blue Oval City is designed to have as minimal an impact as possible on the surrounding environment—and even to generate positive impacts. The assembly plant’s goal is to have a regenerative impact on the local environment through biomimicry in design of the facility.
From the start of production in 2025, Ford’s goal is for the assembly plant to be carbon neutral.
Through an on-site wastewater treatment plant, the assembly plant aspires to make zero freshwater withdrawals for assembly processes by incorporating water reuse and recycling systems. Zero-waste-to-landfill processes will capture materials and production scrap at an on-site materials collection center to sort and route materials for recycling or processing either at the plant or at off-site facilities once the plant is operational.
Ford is collaborating with Redwood Materials, a leading battery materials company, to make electric vehicles more sustainable and affordable for Americans by localizing the supply chain network, creating recycling options for scrap and end-of-life vehicles, and ramping up lithium-ion recycling.
BlueOvalSK Battery Park
Joining the Ford electric manufacturing revolution is a planned $5.8 billion, 1,500-acre BlueOvalSK battery manufacturing campus in Glendale, Kentucky, which is targeted to open in 2025.
Twin co-located plants will be capable of producing up to 43 gigawatt hours each for a total of 86 gigawatt hours annually. Together, these American-made batteries will power next-generation electric Ford and Lincoln vehicles.
Bringing 5,000 new jobs to Kentucky, BlueOvalSK Battery Park will be centrally located to support Ford’s North American assembly plants’ footprint.
“We thank Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation for their investment in Team Kentucky,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “This is the single largest investment in the history of our state and this project solidifies our leadership role in the future of the automotive manufacturing industry. It will transform our economy, creating a better Kentucky, with more opportunities, for our families for generations. Our time is now. Our future is now.”