Ford pauses work on $3.5 billion battery manufacturing facility in Michigan

A man stands next to an EV battery with some posters in the background.

Enlarge / Ted Miller, supervisor of Ford Battery Cell Analysis and Superior Engineering, holds a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery throughout a presentation on Monday, February 13, 2023 at Ford Ion Park in Romulus, Michigan. (credit score: Ford)

The previous couple of years have seen a flurry of newly introduced battery factories in North America. The Inflation Discount Act of 2022 is the principle purpose—it ties an electrical car’s federal tax credit score to domestically sourced batteries, amongst different circumstances, so automakers have been scrambling to construct that capability domestically. However as we speak’s information is quite extra uncommon. Based on the Detroit Information, Ford is pushing pause on one such facility, suspending all work on the $3.5 billion mission.

The plant in query known as Blue Oval Battery Park Michigan, positioned in Marshall, Michigan. Ford introduced the brand new web site in February, which it mentioned can be chargeable for making lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells. This can be a much less energy-dense chemistry than lithium-ion chemistries (like nickel cobalt manganese or nickel cobalt aluminum), however it might probably tolerate extra charging cycles and is cheaper to make.

Intellectually property points have meant LFP cells have been unusual in EVs outdoors of China, however that is starting to vary; Tesla matches a few of its EVs with LFP cells, and Ford secured provides of LFP cells from the Chinese language battery firm CATL to be used within the Mustang Mach-E crossover and from subsequent yr, the F-150 Lightning pickup truck.

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