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Ford Authority

Ford EV Plant In Virginia Would Have Created 2,500 Jobs

As Ford attempts to vastly ramp up its EV production amid various supply chain issues and concerns over the sourcing of the raw materials that go into the batteries that power those vehicles, the automaker is leaning on multiple suppliers from across the globe. One of those suppliers is Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) – a Chinese company that’s the world’s largest producer of batteries – which has been scoping out locations for a new North American-based plant in both Mexico and the U.S. for months now. One such location was the state of Virginia, but as Ford Authority reported last week, Governor Glenn Youngkin rejected those plans – citing the company’s Chinese roots – nixing a Ford EV plant that would have created 2,500 jobs, according to the Richmond-Times Dispatch.

The now-dead CATL and Ford EV plant was slated to be built at the Southern Virginia Mega Site at Berry Hill in Pittsylvania County, where it would have made lithium-iron phosphate batteries for Blue Oval models. The two companies planned to spend $3.5 billion erecting the new facility, which would have reportedly employed around 2,500 people when it began operating in a few years, with the potential for more down the road.

Regardless, CATL and Ford will now seek another location to build this new EV battery plant, including both Mexico and Michigan after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding last summer. The facility is expected to begin production in 2026 with an initial output of 40GWh of cell production, and would reportedly be owned by FoMoCo – at least in terms of the physical location and infrastructure – though CATL would retain ownership of the battery cell technology utilized in production.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Meanwhile, Ford continues to work with a number of other suppliers across the globe as it aims to ramp up EV production, including its South Korean joint-venture partner SK On – with which it’s building the forthcoming BlueOvalSK Battery Park in the U.S. – as well as BYD and LG.

We’ll have more on Ford’s EV plans soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Tigger

    Funny Virgonia would be considered since it is so far away from Ford’s assembly plants. Michigan would be a more logical choice. But I’m sure Ford plays off the states against each other to get the best deal.

    Reply
    1. Ford Owner

      It will be in Michigan, near the F-150 Lightning truck plant, where the most batteries are needed.

      Reply
    2. RWFA

      Shopping is a standard practice.

      But there’s a lot of factors that go into plant selection decisions.

      Shop for 1) best tax breaks, good training incentives, consider also 2) political situation (cooperation, honesty of political entities and personalities), labor situation (overall and skilled labor pools, local/regional wage and unemployment), union situation (likelihood of unionization, degree of cooperation from national/regional/local leadership), parcel situation (affordable with good infra (road, rail, airports, utilities, education)), and then 3) consider transportation costs of raw materials in, products out and cost & time to send central staff on plant visits.

      The weighting scales of each of these items can vary by industry, company, product, project, etc.

      Reply
  2. Thomas S

    I agree with Virginia’s decision. Ford needs to develop technology not related or dependent upon Chinese influence because any company in China is directly or indirectly owned by the Chinese Communist Party.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Amazingly ignorant comment Thomas, even for you.

      Reply
  3. Ben Tennyson

    Ben 10,
    Ford needs to cut the cord with China.

    Reply
  4. Greggt

    It’s a Chinese Company! Proud of Virginia for standing up to protecting our country!

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Protecting our country, one tin-plated or vest-clad economic failure at a time.

      I’m old enough to remember when the Maga crowd celebrated the construction of a (10G$, 13k job) Chinese flat panel display plant in Wisconsin, with the 2x impeached, disgraced, insurrectionist President taking great pride in making this announcement personally, that turned into a big draw on local tax coffers yielding 1,400 jobs from the downscaled Chinese investment of 600M$.)

      Now it’s Younkin: ~”I’ve made my money in China with Carlyle, so I’m now a Sino-expert, and now, as your governor, I’ve got to destroy your local economic opportunity to develop my “tough on China creds” as I prepare to launch my campaign for President.”

      Reply
  5. Michael J Genzale

    Glad Govenor Youngkin nixed a Chinese company investment in his state. I can only hope other governors have the same conviction.
    To much foreign investment in the United States. The politicians catchall is ‘ job creation’. True, but if the need is there than an American company will create the jobs.
    All to often states through taxpayer money at these foreign owned companies to locate within their state. Things like tax abatements, infrastructure as in railhead and interstate access and job fairs.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      LoL. Tell us more about how much you don’t know.

      Due to years of underinvestment in basic research, due to strong lobbying from Big Oil, the USA is on the back foot with regard to having a multiplicity of battery constructors, designs and chemistries.

      Tesla has these things but these won’t be selling them to competitors.

      So if you don’t want to just sit on your thumb, watching the Tesla’s go by, either as an OEM or as a policy maker, you need to be mature, admit near term competitive weakness, and deal with those who have the know how, that you need now, until you can develop your own.

      Reply
  6. Dave

    Typical right wing reactions. Plant built by Americans, staffed by Americans, in America. What are the Chinses going to do, take the plant home if they get mad at us? Of course it would upset the massive Virginia oil industry if they built it there. I’m sure there are plenty of sates that will welcome this plant.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Well, Ford owns the physical plant but not the technology which it really at the heart of issue. Too bad Ford can’t find a tech company outside of China that can produce the same technology. If the Chinese government decides to limit CATL in the future or demand something from us to continue, then what. We need to do everything we can to get technology from domestic sources or allies. I would not consider China an ally.

      Reply
      1. RWFA

        China is no ally.

        It is a strategic competitor.

        It is a potential enemy.

        But a company based there is one of the very few battery producers with the know how to make such batteries at scale.

        Ford has done well to diversify its battery buy. It will have purchasing leverage m, tech diversity, and supply redundancy possibilities (that as we saw from the global chip debacle) are critical going forward.

        Ford has also set up the deal so that down the line, once it has its own battery designs and chemistries, it can ease out battery partners if it chooses to.

        In the meantime, if China wants to put the hurt on the USA, it won’t be able to do much to a CATL facility in the US if that facility if supplied with materials coming from nafta sources.

        It’s not like China has a key to shut down local production (assuming Ford doesn’t allow remote controlling of production lines from China and verified PLC code to ensure no tripwires are built into it.)

        Reply
  7. Shelley K.

    Great news. Stop giving business to other countries. Not a surprise EVs are failing on a large scale.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Oh hi Shelly K-street!

      I see you are here to stoke the coal and oil fed fires of disinformation on behalf of Big Carbon.

      The only big surprise is that you are still trying to sell your FUDster “EV’s are failing” horse hockey. (On second thought, no surprise really, as that’s what scripted K-streeters are paid to do.)

      Reply
  8. Mike

    Let China have a plant here. They would have even MORE to lose if they screw up and keep alienating the world like Russia-invade Taiwan? Lose your American and EU assets.

    Reply
  9. Joel

    Didn’t relying on China for auto parts get Ford into its recent production problems? At least stick with Korean and Japanese companies.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      I’ve seen no strong correlation or excessive contribution of Chinese-produced parts causing Ford’s quality woes.

      Ford’s had quality and delivery problems with parts produced in house, as well as parts purchased domestically and from around the world.

      Reply
  10. Joe Layman

    CallGov Justice in Charleston WV . He hass several sites that has labor pools and transportation for in and out going products to fill your needs.

    Reply

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