Ford Authority

Michigan Rep Pushes Back On Claims Made About Ford LFP Plant

Since settling on Marshall, Michigan as the site of its latest EV battery plant – officially called BlueOval Battery Park Michigan – Ford has faced a bit of backlash not only from the residents of that town, but also folks who are concerned about the fact that the automaker will lease lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery technology from CATL, a China-based company. Even as funding for the new Ford LFP plant has been secured and site prep has already begun, certain politicians have accused The Blue Oval of using a “loophole” in current battery component sourcing requirements put in place by the Inflation Reduction Act, while Ford claims that no U.S. tax dollars will go to CATL or any other entity. However, others are pushing back against these loophole claims, according to The Detroit News.

Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan Annoucement

“Other (members of Congress) have expressed concern about the nature of partnerships and joint ventures between United States companies and Chinese companies, as these entities attempt to take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax credits and other incentives,” said Rep. Morgan Griffith, chair of the subcommittee raising these concerns. “Just one example in my own state, the Commonwealth of Virginia – our Gov. Glenn Youngkin withdrew our state from the process of incentivizing Ford Motor Co.’s proposed EV battery factory because of Ford’s subservient role in a partnership with a Chinese company.”

While some these representatives claim that the Chinese government will be able to control both the leased technology and the Ford LFP plant itself, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell chimed in with a very different take on the matter. “I’ve got nothing but the greatest of respect for all of my colleagues, but I’ve got to defend the workers from my district,” she said, calling the claims a “gross mischaracterization.” “We need to make sure we are competitive and staying at the forefront of innovation and technology in this country, not ceding it to China. If Ford wasn’t doing this, the reality is they could import these batteries from China. They could build them in Mexico, or just offer batteries that cost 30 percent more (with) the more expensive chemistry. We’ve got to really think about what we’re doing.”

Ford has previously pointed out that it already imports some batteries into the U.S. from CATL, a practice that Tesla and Honda have also engaged in, while also defending the new LFP plant, which Ford spokesperson Melissa Miller said is “good for the country, good for the planet and good for Ford’s business. We’re creating 2,500 new U.S. jobs, while helping to strengthen domestic manufacturing and supply chains and reduce carbon emissions.”

We’ll have more on Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan 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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