Ford currently leans on multiple EV battery suppliers for its electrified products, including SK Innovation, LG Energy Solution, Panasonic, BYD, and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) – the latter two in China only – in addition to working on its own battery joint venture with SK dubbed BlueOvalSK. Currently, SK Innovation supplies batteries for the Ford F-150 Lighting while both the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Ford E-Transit utilize LG units, but that could be changing for these and other future North American Ford EVs, according to Reuters.
CATL – the world’s largest producer of batteries – is reportedly on the verge of choosing more than one location for new U.S.-based plants that would supply batteries for BMW and Ford EVs. The report indicates that both South Carolina and Kentucky are under consideration as potential sites for these EV battery plants, where BMW and Ford already operate assembly plants, respectively. The report indicates that the South Carolina plant would presumably begin production in 2026.
CATL is in the midst of a major expansion as it aims to retain its title as the world’s largest battery manufacturer by tripling its output by 2025. Part of that plan involves building plants in countries near its customers, and CATL already purchased a facility in Glasgow, Kentucky, back in 2020.
Meanwhile, Ford is investing $7 billion in its BlueOval City complex in Kentucky, which will build both EVs and EV batteries, including the automaker’s new IonBoost units. Its joint venture partner SK Innovation continues to expand its own operations in the U.S., China, and Europe as well after spinning off its battery division into its own distinct entity. At the same time, all of these manufacturers face major challenges as raw materials shortages have caused prices to skyrocket, while EV battery prices are expected to soar by as much as 40 percent over the next two years or so.