Ford’s mission to vastly expand its EV business is currently centered around securing the raw materials it needs to build an adequate number of batteries at its new BlueOval SK Battery Park in Kentucky, which is currently under construction. That operation – which consists of a partnership between Ford and its BlueOvalSK joint venture partner SK On – will serve as the main driving force in the automaker’s EV push, though both companies are also investing in their own separate ventures as well. For The Blue Oval, that includes retooling the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada to produce the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator EVs, though its EV ambitions in that country are set to expand beyond that effort with the construction of a new Ford cathode factory there, as Ford Authority reported earlier this month. However, it could be joined by a number of other EV-related facilities as well, according to Automotive News Canada.
The new Ford cathode factory is slated to be built in Becancour, a tiny community in Quebec, Canada, which could soon become a North American EV hub thanks partly to its convenient location, which is halfway between Montreal and Quebec City. Since March, a dozen companies have reportedly looked into establishing some sort of EV-related presence there, including BASF, which is planing to build a battery recycling and materials site, Brazilian mining company Vale SA, which wants to erect a nickel sulfate plant in the town, and General Motors, which is teaming up with Posco Chemical Co. Ltd. to erect a plant that will produce materials for its EV battery platform.
“Becancour really stood out as being extremely attractive, it’s kind of perfectly nestled between Canadian mineral sources and our factories,” said David Paterson, vice president, GM Canada. “The most important benefit is Quebec’s hydroelectricity – when you compare prices of electricity, Quebec wins anywhere in North America.” The town is also easy to access via major roads and railways, is nestled near the St. Lawrence river, and is in close proximity to an abundance of battery metal deposits.
As for Ford, the automaker will team up with SK On and South Korean battery material producer EcoPro BM Co. to erect its own $704 million dollar facility in Becancour after signing off on the deal later this year. The new plant will produce cathode materials, which are key ingredients in lithium-ion batteries, for BlueOvalSK – to the tune of 480,000 tons per year by 2026, which is enough to support the production of six million EVs.