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Ford Picked Virginia For EV Battery Plant Before Rejection (Updated)

Ford plans to invest $50 billion in electrification with a goal of producing two million EVs annually by 2026, and to meet that goal, the automaker is leaning on a large number of suppliers from all around the globe. One of those companies is China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) – the world’s largest producer of batteries – which has been searching for a location to build a new North American-based EV battery plant with Ford in both Mexico and the U.S.

One location under consideration 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 battery plant that would have created 2,500 jobs and drawing criticism from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose state is still in consideration for the new facility. Now, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Ford had already picked Virginia as the site for that new EV battery plant prior to Youngkin’s rejection.

The proposed 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.

CATL and Ford are now seeking another location to build this new EV battery plant – a decision that is expected to happen in just a few weeks – after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding for the project 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.

Update: Hours after running this story, Ford reached out to the Richmond Times-Dispatch to clarify that the automaker had not yet selected a site for its planned EV battery plant. “Ford had not made a site selection decision,” company spokeswoman Melissa Miller said in a statement.

We’ll have more on Ford’s EV plans soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for non-stop 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. David Dickinson II

    This has apparently really miffed Ford. Pure speculation here, but I wonder if this was tee-ed up by the former Democrats that ran Virginia with some sweetheart deal for Ford (at taxpayer expense) and, now that Virginia flipped to a Republican Governor and House, the Republicans with business sense want this to actually generate some benefit. Democrat Terry McAulliffe was also Virginia’s former governor, and he was known for being a schuckster that made deals that were good for him, but bad for Virginia.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      The current governor clearly rejected the plant on purely ideological grounds. Which has zero to do with anything that may or may not (did not) happen before. Oh well, it’s their loss, and some other state’s gain.

      Reply
  2. Me

    I hope every state REJECT this chines company. We already give way too much money to China. Need to invest in American or European companies.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      So what American battery company with ready to go at scale IP, design and manufacturing know how do you suggest?

      Reply
    2. Karl

      Did you know that the U.S owes more money to China than any other country?

      Reply
      1. RWFA

        This aided and accelerated by the insane unfunded 2017 tax cuts for corporations and the uppermost income earners.

        Reply
  3. Bill H.

    Both Ford and Governor Youngkin have denied these reports. This truly is “fake news”.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      “Virginia did not win the project.…We removed ourselves from consideration in an ongoing process,” Youngkin wrote in a text message.

      Because he needs a lever to springboard to a presidential candidacy so he can spend some of the money he made as co-CEO at Carlyle off their Chinese businesses.

      And to get that lever, he will deny the well paid construction workers who will build the infrastructure and the plant which will employ ca 2,500 well paid workers building a future oriented product.

      Even if the plant and the employee taxes only balanced out state incentives over the next 20 years, it would still employ ca 2,500 workers who would contribute to their local economy. That said, outside of sports complexes, it’s unusual for such facilities to get such a lopsided deal.

      Genius move by the governor.

      Reply
  4. James

    There isn’t a EV battery on the face of earth that was made with slave labor, or that didn’t cause an environmental disaster.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      I think you meant to say “wasn’t” but if so you are vastly overstated the point and that situation will significantly change as the new incentives and battery sourcing regs, and chemistries come into play.

      Reply
  5. John

    Now you see Infrastructure act was a sweetheart deal for China thanks to the Big Guy

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Actually no. Or do you have some inside info from Hunter Biden’s laptop?

      Reply
  6. B. Walker

    I’m sorry to see Ford investing so heavily on electrification. I’m wondering why Toyota isn’t going all electric and Musk is going to hydrogen. They are leaders in the industry and must know something Ford doesn’t.

    You need lithium to make your batteries. Who has damn near all the lithium in the world? I believe it’s China. They can tell us to pay their price or drop dead. Also, I can’t believe we don’t have a bunch of bright, young engineers out in Silicon Valley that couldn’t figure out how to manufacture a battery. The problem is… you need the lithium.

    I worry about the infrastructure too. We have areas now that have brown outs and can’t run air conditioners certain times of the day. Public charging stations seem to be hit and miss as far as being operational. Will they get better ? Hopefully. But, I keep wondering why Toyota and Tesla are going to hydrogen. Mr. Toyoda and Mr. Musk are very bright guys. They know something Ford and GM don’t. Ford is investing $50 billion on electrification. Seems like they are putting it all on red, 21 and spinning the wheel.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      LoL nice rehash if the K-street scripted disinformation and FUD.

      Reply
    2. SemperFi

      Right on!
      And by 2025 Ford lots will be full of CCP EVs that no one wants.
      Buy American…we have a reputation of producing quality products!
      After the third purchase of a chinese product that all were junk…i stopped buying.

      Reply
      1. RWFA

        What current industry incumbent are you serving with all your bad faith comments mr Fi?

        Reply
  7. wayne guess

    welcome to Mexico

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Or Canada, they are aggressively building up battery construction industries in the Quebec area.

      Personally I’d like to see Michigan score the plant. This would help anchor current vehicle production in the area.

      Reply
  8. Slicky

    Agree with RWFA we can sit here and argue and complain but what it should boil down to is what matters most… a new Facility here in America and Workers here in America earning a living wage to keep our national economy growing!

    Reply
  9. jerry e

    Stupid move! Virtually all the clothing, appliances, electronics, and toys in our homes are imported from China. Now here’s a chance to benefit from Chinese goods, as all the money & jobs to design & build the plant, as well as the labor to produce the goods, as well as the taxes levied on all that labor, as well as the service, parts, maintenance to keep it all running, would stay right here in the local community.

    Reply
  10. Ron

    FORD need to look at Bryan/College Station Texas
    Area is ripe with research from Texas A&M, has fantastic rail service, and is one of the fastest growing area’s in the country !

    Reply
  11. Mike says...

    While I am leery of doing anything with China… turning down any joint venture that moves production back to the USA should be embraced by all levels of government. The Virginia Governor is demonstrating a remarkable level of stupidity, to which I hope Michigan will be the benefactor of. For those of you still hung up on the sound of your own voices ….. your loss. This is a good example of business being lost due to stupid politics on Virginia’s part.

    Reply
  12. Mike

    The biggest problem with this so called Ford plant is that they were listed as the owners but all the technology was to be owned by China and the plant was to be run by China. Ford just had their name on it and was planning to buy their batteries. How anyone thinks this would benefit America is beyond me. A few jobs, technology paid for by American taxpayers for the commies to own. Almost as bad as the 70’s when the Japanese paid off American politicians to get these sweetheart deals so they could fill our country with their cars while we couldn’t sell ours in Japan. This was set up by Terry McCaulif, the Clinton scumbag that has no problem screwing over America for money

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Lol. Your comments are an over the top sight to behold. I really wonder who is giving them to you.

      The commies own the tech. Ford owns the plant.

      Ford is dealing with the commies because they developed the tech while Big Oil lobbiests had us all lazily sucking off the big oil opium pipe and not investing into the basic research to create the necessary IP.

      LoL The japanese cars have filled our roads with their cars because they were a) fuel efficient, b) high quality, and c) affordable. Our cars were unsellable in Japan because they were gigantic crap quality gas hogs.

      In the meantime the Japanese are nearly as integrated US producers as the Detroit 3 are.

      You seriously think McAuliffe who left office 5 years ago played a significant role in a decision Ford has been working in for about the last 2 years?

      You have to reach back that far and invoke Clintons to bolster your point?

      That’s pathetic. And like most of what you’ve shoveling it’s at turns disingenuous, ignorant or just plain stupid.

      Reply
      1. Mike says...

        Yup… I agree wholeheartedly…

        Reply
  13. ron

    good for virginia. no business with china. please stop

    Reply

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