Though it’s been plagued with controversy stemming from nearby residents and lawmakers, the Ford EV plant that will soon be known as BlueOval Battery Park Michigan continues to inch toward completion, regardless. The future Ford EV battery plant – which will be located in Marshall, Michigan – will build lithium-iron phosphate batteries using technology licensed from CATL when it’s expected to begin production in 2025, but there are still a few hurdles to overcome before that happens. Now, one of the more critical steps has taken place as Michigan lawmakers approved the final $120 million dollar transfer that will help fund the construction of the $3.5 billion dollar facility, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.
This transfer of finds is the final piece of a larger $1.7 billion in state subsidies earmarked for the project, and was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The money – which will be used for sewage and water work along with various other tasks needed to prepare the site for construction – was transferred from the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve fund to the Strategic Site Readiness Program, where it will be used to back a grant to the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance.
While this is happening, Ford and the The Committee for Marshall – Not the Megasite are awaiting a decision from a judge regarding the latter’s legal battle to bring this matter to a public vote, which it collected enough signatures to do. However, the Marshall City Clerk later determined that only 136 of those 800 signatures were valid and ultimately rejected it. The group wound up challenging this decision in court, and in early August, filed a legal brief to continue the case in court.
At the same time, a group of lawmakers. continues to press Ford on its relationship with CATL, which is a battery manufacturer located in China. CEO Jim Farley recently traveled to Washington to discuss this matter in person, but just this week, the U.S. House of Representatives expanded its probe, even as Ford has maintained that CATL won’t have any stake in the new plant, and also that it won’t receive any sort of U.S. tax dollars as part of this deal.