Ford drops plans for EV battery factory

Ford said Tuesday it will drop its plans to build a factory in Michigan that makes cheaper lithium iron phosphate batteries using tech licensed from China’s CATL. The decision comes two months after Ford halted the factory project, known as the BlueOval Battery Park Michigan in Marshall; It also coincides with the company’s decision to delay about $12 billion in planned investments in EVs, including the construction of a second battery plant with its joint venture partner SK On.

Ford, along with other automakers, has been adjusting production timelines and factory plans as the growth rate of EV sales has slowed and consumers have become more price sensitive.

The scaled-down version of the EV battery factory has a production capacity of 20 gigawatt-hours, which represents a 43% reduction. The factory, which is still scheduled to start producing battery cells in 2026, will now employ an estimated 1,700 people, out of 2,500 jobs. Using back-of-the-envelope math based on reduced capacity, Ford still needs to invest about $2 billion in the project.

“While we remain committed to our long-term strategy for electric vehicles, we are re-timing and revising some investments. As previously stated, we are reviewing the BlueOval Battery Park Michigan in Marshall,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

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