Ford & SK Innovation to Launch EV Battery Joint Venture
Ford Motor and South Korean battery maker - SK Innovation are about to launch a battery joint venture in the US to support Ford’s electric vehicle rollout.
The deal may eventually include a jointly owned plant to make battery cells for use in rechargeable EV batteries, sources familiar with the matter said, but no official confirmations have so far followed from either of the companies.
Talks around the joint venture picked up speed last month after SK Innovation agreed to pay $1.8 billion to LG Energy Solution to settle LG's accusations of trade theft by its rival.The dispute, which the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden had been on the verge of settling with a ruling, had put SK Innovation's battery cell plant in Georgia at risk. That plant, which is under construction, will serve Ford and Germany's Volkswagen AG.
Biden on Tuesday called for government grants for new battery production facilities as part of a $174 billion EV proposal during a visit to a Ford EV plant in Michigan.
A deal with SK may have Ford taking a similar path as rival General Motors which has a battery joint venture with LG Energy that is building plants in Ohio and Tennessee.
Ford is currently pushing to electrify key models in its lineup, including the Transit van late this year and F-150 pickup mid-2022, and already sells the all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV. The automaker has said it will invest $22 billion in electrification through 2025.
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