Ford has revealed plans to establish a global battery centre of excellence – called Ford Ion Park – to accelerate research and development of battery and battery cell technology – including future battery manufacturing.
Ford says Ion Park will use state-of-the-art equipment to pilot new manufacturing techniques that will allow Ford to quickly scale breakthrough battery cell designs with novel materials once the company vertically integrates battery cells and batteries.
“We’re already scaling production of all-electric vehicles around the world as more customers experience the fun-to-drive benefits of electric vehicles with zero emissions,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer. “Investing in more battery R&D ultimately will help us speed the process to deliver more, even better, lower cost EVs for customers over time.”
Plans involve centralizing a cross-functional team of 150 experts in battery technology development, research, manufacturing, planning, purchasing, quality and finance to help Ford more quickly develop and manufacture battery cells and batteries.
The Ford Ion Park team is also exploring better integration and innovation opportunities across all aspects of the value chain – from mines to recycling. “We are creating new tools and solutions we need for a carbon-free, affordable and better future,” Thai-Tang said. “We are modernizing Ford’s battery development and manufacturing capabilities so we can better control costs and production variables in-house and scale production around the world with speed and quality.”
In addition Ford is to invest US$185 million in a collaborative learning lab in Southeast Michigan dedicated to developing, testing and building vehicle battery cells and cell arrays.
Opening late 2022, this world-class learning lab will include pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell and array design and manufacturing and will use state-of-the-art technology to pilot new manufacturing techniques that will allow Ford to quickly scale breakthrough battery cell designs with novel materials once the company vertically integrates battery cells and batteries.