The recently-revealed Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan complex has been the subject of much controversy since the automaker signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) in an effort to expand its production capacity in that regard. However, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s rejection of the new plant – which could have been built in that state rather than Michigan – has caused quite the political upheaval as tensions over China’s control of the market continue to rise. Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer criticized Youngkin over his decision, and now, Republican Senator Marco Rubio is calling for the U.S. to review the deal between Ford and CATL, too.
“I am alarmed at Ford’s plan to establish a large, Michigan-based factory, structured as a wholly owned subsidiary that licenses its technology from CATL,” Rubio said in a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “As such, I write to request a Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review of the licensing agreement, as well as demand that no federal funds – especially monies or tax credits granted via the Inflation Reduction Act (P.L. 117-169) – go to enrich PRC national champion CATL, or any other Beijing-supported company, directly or indirectly.”
The Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan will reportedly be owned and staffed by The Blue Oval, which will manufacture lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells there using knowledge and services provided by CATL, while Ford engineers will integrate those LFP battery cells into the automaker’s vehicles.
Production at the $3.5 billion dollar BlueOval Battery Park Michigan – which will be the very first LFP battery plant in the U.S. – is slated to begin in 2026, adding 35 gigawatt hours per year of new battery capacity and upwards of 2,500 new jobs, with room to grow in the future as well. As Ford points out, LFP batteries are less expensive to produce than lithium-ion units, and making them in the U.S. reduces shipping and import costs while also taking advantage of tax breaks brought forth by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which should make future Ford EVs more affordable.
We’ll have more on Ford BlueOval Battery Park soon, , so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.
China is America’s Enemy #1. We should not cooperate with them on anything, ever.
LoL Marco scared about batteries being produced in the USA using IP licensed from China. What an idiot.
If technology transfer is occurring, it’s from CATL to Ford.
Ford is learning from all the big battery players.
And when Ford’s internal/external investments into battery design and chemistry research pays out, CATL will be out.
In the meantime he never investigated any other Chinese commodities coming in by the container load (like my iPhone), pharmaceuticals, raw materials/chemicals or Chinese companies massive influence on our meat packing industry. What a dolt.
I just love reading your suaveness in your writings, thanks keep laying pipe to the idiots!
Maybe not a lot to add about Rubio, it’s my story I have a 14.4 volt Older Milwaukee drill still works well but needs battery replaced locally Milwaukee battery is around $100.00 I have a right to save money to, so ordered an after market on line no name $49.00 my second one cause I need a spare, look identical both factory and aftermarket both made in china, and more than likely shipped on the same boat I believe our government as a hole needs a good whipping into shape price differences like this I call them a Crook.
Thanks James! Nice to hear some positive words sometimes.
Chinese batteries and Ford’s propensity for fires, what can go wrong?
Rewriting history are you? GM had Chevy Bolt fires and Tesla several spontaneous combustion fires.
those are Chinese batteries.
LG Chem (S. Korea) supplied the battery cells and GM assembled the battery pack.
2/16/23. “Stellantis recalls nearly 341,000 Ram heavy-duty diesel trucks after fire reports“
Rubio’s real concern is a Blue state getting a boost to its economy.
+1. (Rubio still doesn’t realized he peaked in 2015.)
If any one other than Rubio had raised this concern, I would be inclined to support an
investigation in principle. Given that a politician is jumping on the bandwagon very late in the business process with Ford’s partnerships and new plant decision pretty much degrees this is political grandstanding at best. Regardless of the outcome, non of Rubio’s concerns will make Youngkin’s decision to arbitrarily deny his states taxpayers the opportunity for investment and employment. These guys are not helping Americans or our economy one bit.
Agree. It’s a very stupid kind of populism requiring a combination above average ignorance and hurr durr xenophobia on the part of their supporters.