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Ford readies new EV platform, IonBoost in-house batteries in $30B electric investment

The plan's called Ford Plus, and its goal is help transform 40% of the company's global vehicle volume to EVs by 2030.

Ford Plus strategy announcement
Ford's ready to take EVs seriously.
Ford

Ford on Wednesday dropped some big electric-vehicle bombshells as it gears up to tackle rivals in the EV realm. During its Capital Markets Day investor event, the automaker revealed its new Ford Plus plan, designed to help the Blue Oval in the shift to EVs with a new, scalable EV platform, IonBoost in-house battery engineering and manufacturing -- and a whopping $30 billion investment for all things EV by 2025.

With over $30 billion in investments coming -- up from $25 billion -- for all of these areas, Ford feels it's poised to generate 40% of its global vehicle sales from electric cars by 2030. That comes with the two aforementioned components: a scalable EV platform and IonBoost batteries. Let's talk about the platform first. This will be a totally scalable platform good for trucks, SUVs and whatever else Ford wants to build on its bones. The finer details are still pretty light, but its shapeshifting capabilities open up a lot of possibilities for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles. It'll take the fight to crosstown rival General Motors and its Ultium platform.

As for the batteries, Ford was much more forthcoming. They'll be named IonBoost, and unlike a past strategy where Ford wanted to outsource them, the Blue Oval will design, engineer and manufacture IonBoost batteries itself. Help comes from BlueOvalSK, a joint venture between Ford and Korea's SK Innovation. The new joint venture will build battery cells and arrays to help Ford vertically integrate the crucial component in its supply chain. It's a lesson more companies seem to be learning from the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage.

These IonBoost batteries will have two distinct types: one for personal vehicles, and another suited for commercial vehicles, which will wear the name IonBoost Pro. They'll also feature lithium iron phosphate, while personal vehicles stick to lithium-ion units -- for now. Ford hopes to introduce a solid-state battery with Solid Power's know-how. Ford previously took an equity stake in the startup, and combined with its own engineering skills, it wants to build affordable solid-state batteries at scale one day.

Today's announcements come in the wake of the recent reveal of the F-150 Lightning, set for launch next spring, and the Mustang Mach-E's rollout. We got a couple tastes of what's to come in the vehicle department, too. An electric Bronco seems all but confirmed at this point, and the automaker said it will "fully electrify" the Explorer in the near future, too. For the Blue Oval and the EV battle for supremacy, it's game on.

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