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Ford EV Partner EcoPro Delays Plant Investment Amid Pivot

With Ford shifting its focus away from larger, pricier EVs and toward smaller, cheaper ones, the automaker also recently announced that it’s pushing back the planned launch dates for the North American Ford Explorer EV and second-generation Ford F-150 EV – which drew the ire of the Canadian union Unifor. Of course, Ford isn’t alone in this regard, as several other automakers and even battery makers have dialed back similar plans in the face of weakened demand for all-electric vehicles as well. Now, that list has grown to include cathode material company and Ford EV partner EcoPro, according to The Korea Times.

Back in March 2023, another Ford EV partner – South Korean battery manufacturer SK On – announced that it planned to team up with EcoPro and Chinese battery materials producer GEM to erect a battery precursor plant in Saemangeum, South Korea, which was expected to churn out around 50,000 tons of precursors annually – a compound mixed with raw materials such as nickel, cobalt, and manganese that account for more than 65-70 percent of the cost of cathode materials – when it came online this year, which is enough to supply the production of roughly 300,000 105 kWh batteries for electric vehicles per year.

Now that Ford has scaled back its EV ambitions, EcoPro has also announced that it’s postponing a planned $87 million investment in EcoCAM Canada, a joint-venture that was aiming to open a cathode plant in that country as well. This means that production at this future facility now isn’t expected to begin until 2027, a year later than originally planned.

According to this report, EcoPro CEO Song Ho-jun stated this decision on a call with shareholders roughly one week before Ford revealed that it was pushing back production of the Explorer EV, which is slated to occur at the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada. “The establishment of the joint venture between SK On, Ford, and EcoPro is expected to be delayed a bit,” Ho-jun said.

We’ll have more on Ford’s EV partners soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing 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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Comment

  1. Dean Smith

    EV’s will not sell in large numbers until buyers receive the same utility for the same value as an ICE vehicle, period. Current headwinds are too strong. Inadequate power grid,
    too few recharging stations, high price of installing residential 75 Amp recharger, range anxiety and limited range, high purchase price, long recharge times compared to re-fueling ICE vehicle, poor resale value. Not to mention that 60% of households are living paycheck to paycheck because of Bidenomics inflation. Bet initial surge of EV sales was mostly to wealthy liberal climate catastrophe cultists or recent college graduates brainwashed by left wing professors. Most of us are smarter than that.

    Reply

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