After increasing its investment in EVs by a significant margin earlier this year, Ford moved quickly by announcing a new battery production joint venture with SK Innovation dubbed BlueOvalSK, which will spawn three new Ford battery plant locations in the U.S., as well as additional facilities in Europe and China. However, many were wondering why Ford chose to build its new U.S.-based battery plants in Kentucky and Tennessee, and now, it appears that the Detroit Free Press has found an answer to that question.
Both of those states offered Ford “several hundred million dollars in incentives” to lure the Blue Oval away from Michigan, it seems, but those investments will pay off in the form of over 5,000 jobs for each state, with more possibly being added in the future.
In Kentucky, Ford is set to receive a performance-based, forgivable loan of up to $250 million, up to $36 million for workforce training initiatives that includes $25 million for a new Kentucky Community and Technical College System training center at the plant, and the conveyance of the 1,500-acre Hardin County site where the Ford battery plant will be built.
In Tennessee, Ford will get a $500 million dollar grant with provisions for job creation targets, as well as a new Tennessee College of Applied Technology location near the future plant, discounted electrical rates, and the promise of hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure to support Ford’s new campus.
“I’m bullish on this investment,” said Tom Martin, Eastern Kentucky University’s associate provost for research and economic development, who also pointed to Toyota’s Kentucky plant as proof that these types of investments can pay for themselves “over and over again.”