Ford Says Michigan EV Battery Plant Moving Forward, But on Smaller Scale

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Ford President and CEO Jim Farley, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, UAW President Ray Curry, Ford Chair Bill Ford and Marshall, MI, Mayor Jim Schwartz at Ford Ion Park in Romulus, MI, on Feb. 13, when Ford Motor Company announced plans for a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery plant in Marshall.

The plant is now expected to employ 1,700 workers---down from 2,500---with a planned capacity of 20 GWh, down from 35.

Ford said Nov. 21 it “right-sizing” its investment in its upcoming BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, in Marshall, cutting down job creation projections from 2,500 to 1,700, and planned capacity from 35 GWh to 20.

The facility is still expected to begin producing lithium iron phosphate batteries in 2026, the first plant of its kind for Ford, as it aims to lower the cost of EVs.

“While we remain bullish on our long-term strategy for electric vehicles, we are re-timing and resizing some investments,” Ford said, adding it has to balance investment, growth and profitability as it moves ahead.

The $3.5 billion plant was first announced in February---along with $1 billion in taxpayer-funded incentives approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund, and another $750 million from the state for site readiness.

In September, Ford said it was not confident in its ability to run the Marshall plant competitively.

“We’re pausing work and limiting spending on construction on the Marshall project until we’re confident that we’ll be able to competitively operate the plant,” a Ford spokesman said at the time. “There are a number of considerations. We haven’t made any final decision about the planned investment there. There’s nothing to add, at this point.”

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