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Ford to build EV batteries in US with new joint venture BlueOvalSK

With partner SK Innovation onboard, the US is set for more battery production to serve vehicles like the new F-150 Lightning.

EVs need batteries, and Ford wants them made in America.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

America, you're getting more battery production, courtesy of Ford and Korean energy company SK Innovation. On Thursday, hot on the heels of the 2022 F-150 Lightning reveal, Ford announced a new joint venture between the two companies to create BlueOvalSK. The firm will be responsible for US battery production, which Ford said could spread to at least 10 plants around the country.

The automaker thinks it will need 240 gigawatt hours' worth of battery production by 2030, with 140GWh specifically needed in North America. That's a demand BlueOvalSK is designed to service, as it plans to construct plants and put workers on lines building batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles. 

The announcement comes as Ford takes a serious look at owning more of the supply chain, following the semiconductor chip shortage. "We will not cede our future to anyone else," CEO Jim Farley said in a statement, regarding battery production for future EVs.

BlueOvalSK will compete directly with General Motors and LG Energy Solutions' own joint venture, Ultium Cells. Ultium Cells already announced two new battery production sites in the US to serve future EVs from GM -- one in Lordstown, Ohio, and another near Spring Hill, Tennessee. Ford and SK Innovation didn't speak to future sites for production facilities, but the rally to bring more battery production to the US seems to be only just beginning. Juice from the federal government under the Biden administration may further accelerate the movement.