Ford Motor Co. has announced the launch of a new global battery centre of excellence called Ford Ion Park to accelerate research and development of battery and battery cell technology, including battery manufacturing.
“We’re already scaling production of all-electric vehicles around the world,” 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.”
The company is centralizing a cross-functional team of 150 experts in battery technology development, research, manufacturing, planning, purchasing, quality and finance to quickly develop and manufacture battery cells and batteries. Ford has not announced the locaion, only. saying it will be located in “Southwest Michigan.”
The Ford Ion Park team also is exploring better integration and innovation opportunities across all aspects of the value chain – from mines to recycling.
“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,” says Thai-Tang.
The Ford Ion Park team already is underway. Also, opening in late 2022 is a $185-million collaborative learning lab in Southeast Michigan that will develop, test and build vehicle battery cells and cell arrays.
This 200,000 sq.-ft. 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.