With EV adoption not quite meeting previous expectations, Ford – along with some of its rivals – has scaled back its expansion plans somewhat, choosing to pause $12 million in planned investments. Meanwhile, Ford also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Koc Holding and LG Energy Solutions – the world’s biggest battery manufacturer outside of China – to form a joint venture and create a new commercial EV battery plant near Ankara, Turkey this past February, but as Ford Authority reported last week, those entities were considering delaying those plans recently. Now, this planned EV battery production joint venture has been canceled altogether, according to Reuters.
“Considering the current pace of electric vehicle adoption, the timing is not appropriate for a battery cell investment,” Koc Holding said in a statement. “Ford and Koc Holding will remain committed to support electric vehicle production at Ford Otosan’s Kocaeli Plant and will evaluate potential battery cell investments in the future in line with the dynamics of the electric vehicle market.” “LG Energy Solution and Ford are working together on a plan to support battery cell production for this EV from LG Energy Solution’s existing operations, extending the companies’ long-standing business relationship,” LGES said in its own statement.
This now-canceled facility was previously scheduled to break ground by the end of 2023, with production following in 2026. Slated to be located in a commercial industrial zone in Başkent, the new site would have been one of Europe’s largest commercial electric vehicle battery cell facilities with at least 25 GWh of annual production capacity, output that was expected to grow to 45 GWh later down the road.
While this announcement doesn’t impact production of the new Ford Transit Courier and E-Transit Custom, it is certainly a reflection of the current state of the EV market. Ford’s decision to slash its EV investment means that the automaker will now only operate one of two under-construction EV battery plants at another joint venture – BlueOval SK Battery Park in Kentucky – and it recently paused construction at BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, too.