By on September 30, 2021

Ford

Ford has grand plans for building EVs and batteries, and the Blue Oval brand laid out those plans earlier this week.

Welcome to Blue Oval City

Blue Oval City is the name of the facility that Ford plans to build on a site in western Tennessee that is nearly six square miles. The company will build electric F-Series trucks and electric-vehicle batteries on this site.

Meanwhile, another facility, called BlueOvalSK Battery Park due to Ford’s collaboration with SK Innovation, will be built in central Kentucky, and it will have two battery plants. The batteries built there will be used in future Ford and Lincoln EVs, the company says.

Companies say a lot of things, and among Ford’s promises are $11.4 billion in investment and the creation of 11,000 jobs across the two facilities, which are set to be built near Stanton, TN, and Glendale, KY. Six thousand jobs are set for the Tennessee facility and 5,000 for Kentucky.

Production of both vehicles and batteries at both facilities is slated to start in 2025. All these grand plans are subject to regulatory approval and other conditions. Gotta dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

“This is a transformative moment where Ford will lead America’s transition to electric vehicles and usher in a new era of clean, carbon-neutral manufacturing,” said Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford in a statement. “With this investment and a spirit of innovation, we can achieve goals once thought mutually exclusive – protect our planet, build great electric vehicles Americans will love and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”

“This is our moment – our biggest investment ever – to help build a better future for America,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, in the same press release. “We are moving now to deliver breakthrough electric vehicles for the many rather than the few. It’s about creating good jobs that support American families, an ultra-efficient, carbon-neutral manufacturing system, and a growing business that delivers value for communities, dealers and shareholders.”

Ford is aiming to have the plants be carbon neutral from jump, and recycling components is a key part of that effort.

Additionally, Ford is investing $90 million in Texas and $525 million across America on training technicians on how to repair EVs over the next five years.

We often rip automakers for making grand yet vague claims about their EV future, and while Ford is certainly presenting the most optimistic version of its plan here, it should be noted that at least it has a concrete plan. Lots could go wrong, of course. The promised jobs numbers could fall short. The plant(s) might not be as environmentally friendly as promised. The development of battery tech might move more slowly than planned.

All that said, at least Ford seems to have a plan, one that could become real soon enough. It’s unclear when shovels will break ground, but we expect this plant plan to be more than just vaporware backed by nice renderings.

Ford might just be positioning itself well for the projected coming market shift to EVs.

[Image: Ford]

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33 Comments on “Ford to Build Blue Oval City for EV Production...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Nice to see a company do more than give lip service to EV’s.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      As nice as squandering other people’s money, while taking a cut of the looting, can ever be, I suppose.

    • 0 avatar
      cerebus001

      Ford is betting on the massive taxpayer subsidies to skew the market and drive environmentally disastrous EV market. Compound the massive environmental disaster already occurring with the massive tax increases and utility bill increases and zero excess electricity grid capacity to support the EV revolution and you now have an economic disaster. Where are power plants to support all of this?

      The EPA and DOE have not approved the opening of a significant powerplant in the USA in 40 years ! In optimal circumstance it can take 10 years for government(s) approvals and 8 years to build. Thats Eighteen years (18) ! So how are all these millions of proposed ZEV’s going to be charged ? California is already experiencing rolling blackouts without massive numbers of EV’s. Looming Economic and environmental disaster.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      @Lou_BC,

      I have a question. How do you think it happened that Ford Motor Company decided to make its “biggest investment ever” in the Land of Stupid (according to you)?

      [You need to hurl more effective insults at a higher rate – not sure they have heard you yet.]

  • avatar
    Cicero

    Once it has its $11 billion factories, all Ford needs to do is gin up some actual consumer demand for EVs. Then, PROFIT!

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Hopefully they build EVs other than trucks. I’m definitely not opposed to EVs, and I’m as gearhead as they come. But I don’t want an ICE truck/CUV/SUV, and I don’t want an electric one either.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “but we expect this plant plan to be more than just vaporware backed by nice renderings.”

    Any particular reason why? Especially when you wrote these two things:

    “All these grand plans are subject to regulatory approval and other conditions.”
    “The development of battery tech might move more slowly than planned.”

    I don’t think Ford is being purposely deceptive, but this isn’t like adding more Kit-Kats to the vending machine.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      In financialized dystopias, the only things which can be profitably sold is empty promises. To empty heads flush on Fed welfare stolen from their productive superiors.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “This is a transformative moment where Ford will lead America’s transition to electric vehicles”

    That leading has already been done by Nissan, GM, and Tesla. Ford is making stuff up. GM and Tesla have already burned out their Federal consumer subsidies thanks to their volume. The Model 3 outsells every Ford vehicle except the F-Series, Explorer, and Escape.

    But credit where it’s due: Ford finally sees the wisdom of building Gigafactories, after criticizing Tesla for doing it a decade earlier. It’s really the only way to get serious about EVs.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      Because Tesla is a shining example of success. I’ll give Ford this though, their “gigafactory” will at least produce profitable products….but only because they won’t have any quality (much like the Teslas)

    • 0 avatar

      Except Nissan does not lead anything.

    • 0 avatar
      anomaly149

      The funny thing about that “leading” being done by the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Bolt V1 is that you’ll notice a startling lack of EV in any core segment. Weirdo hatchback with marketing-driven revenue buys all over is a segment that doesn’t hit the bottom line. (Mach-E, we’re all looking at you)

      The current moves, where Ford and GM are putting electrification into SUVs, Crossovers, and Trucks (the real money makers) are signs that the industry is actually serious now. Everything before this point was marketing, compliance, and playing in the sandbox.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Bill I think you misspoke, allow me to fix it:

    “This is a transformative moment where Ford will lead America’s transition to [THIRD WORLD STATUS] and usher in a new era of [POVERTY AND CLASS DIVIDE]”

    STATEMENT FROM THE DC JUNTA: You will become one with EV, resistance is futile. This is because you proles largely won’t be able to afford it and we will technocratically eliminate affordable means of private reliable transport for all but the ruling class and our cronies. But you idiots will clamor for more because 40%-45% of you vehemently supported us, you demanded a *mandate* of refeudalization and we are delivering.

  • avatar
    SnarkyRichard

    Subcontracted by Omni Consumer Products with security provided by RoboCop.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Had Ford stuffed an AWD BEV drivetrain in a Mustang body, I’d be seriously interested in it rather than a Tesla Model 3. I don’t want an SUV or a crossover so the Mustang Mach-E isn’t a candidate just like the Tesla Model Y isn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      You’re on the right track. Electric vehicles should look like normal vehicles. They’ll just be quieter and faster.
      And whoever make an affordably-priced kit to replace an ICE with an electric motor will become a multi-millionaire. Imagine taking your favorite jalopy with a blown engine, replacing the fuel tank with batteries and bolting in a 450 HP electric unit. Heck, an old Beetle or an MG with an electric conversion would be eye-poppingly fast, and fun.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Tell me you’re going to waste over 11 billion dollars without telling me you’re going to waste over 11 billion dollars.

    This is nothing more than virtue signaling. Ford knows people don’t want dirty and mediocre compliance EVs…especially theirs.

    Not to mention, Ford cannot get windshields or roofs right, there is absolutely no chance they can execute a somewhat competent EV.

    Ford should be more focused on making ICE vehicles that are not garbage. Warranty costs more than double GM is embarrassing. And the million vehicle recall (that TTAC has yet to do an article on) is laughable. This is a company with terrible engineers and a culture that punishes having any level of quality.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I have a 90 mile RT commute and pushed that Flex twin turbo to about 24.5 mpg. I still was burning through $16 in Dino fuel a day. The S.O.’s Edge Sport smokes the tranny and so we decided to trade it off when discovering the long wait for parts would sideline it for 2 months. So off it went, replaced by a stripper Mach E AWD powered by Salmon water. Last week the S.O. says, “your monthly credit card statement dropped by $300 plus”. Now I commute serenely smug as I look down my nose at the rabble lining up, wrestling vaporous hoses at those convenient dens of inequity as I glide by, having lined my pockets with free money and made the planet better. So sad too bad ….. trolls.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You should know that you’re driving a “useless fashion accessory for the rich”.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      Typical EV elitist snobbery attitude aside, you are comparing a gas guzzling hearse to an electric, non Mustang Mach-E(scape). In an apples to apples comparison you could have chosen an Escape hybrid (essentially the same vehicle just a different powertrain) which, using your same 14% increase in highway mileage you claim to have achieved in the thirsty Flex and the same $4.35/gallon fuel (which may not be fair if you were using premium), you would spend 9.26 a day for fuel (2 gallons). A savings of $126/month (spending 173.62 in fuel).

      The big question is what is your electricity bill? EV drivers love to think that electricity is free. Taking the (very flawed) numbers Ford provided the US government, they say it’s a $1.18 to drive the Mach Escape 25 miles. The Escape Hybrid $1.99. Over 50k miles thats a savings of $1,600 bucks or $0.03/mile.

      So yes there may be a very small savings when using an apple to apples comparison but it’s far from the “Now I commute serenely smug as I look down my nose at the rabble lining up, wrestling vaporous hoses at those convenient dens of inequity as I glide by, having lined my pockets with free money and made the planet better. So sad too bad ….. trolls.” attitude you have. All that fro m$0.03 a mile…..lol. And are the trade offs worth it? Range is short, recharge times to full are very long, windshields popping out, etc?

    • 0 avatar

      Gracious! I’m glad I have my Charger with the Pentastar. I’ve got an 88 mile RT commute and get between 30.2 and 33.6 mpg. No worries.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    EVs don’t work for everyone but for JaySeis using the Mach E for commuting it does work and even in an area with higher electric rates it would probably still be less than the cost of gasoline or diesel. Both EVs and ICE have maintenance cost and depreciation. With the higher prices of used vehicles make getting rid of your old ride easier. The Mach E should easily make a 90 mile round trip before it needs to be recharged. Two months is a long time to wait for parts especially if the vehicle is being used daily or frequently. Also the smaller turbo motor over the long run tend to be expensive to maintain and do not last especially the turbo 3s and 4s. The Flex turbo 6 might be a little better but it will still cost more to maintain than an EV. EVs don’t work for everyone but as a commuter car they could be better than an ICE.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Engines, Ford plans to spend 11 Billion dollars on a new type of engine. GM already makes Li batteries (engines) for the Volt. Tesla makes their own batteries/engines and so does Toyota. Charged batteries propel a vehicle, that makes them engines. I started driving in the mid-1970s. Legendary muscle cars were on their 3rd or 4th owner and could be bought by a new driver. Big V-8, poorly maintained vehicles with laughable brakes provided a different kind of Darwinism. Pickups without anti-lock brakes were their own Darwinian challenge. With just the slightest bit of encouragement, the rear end of the truck really, really thought it should be in front. We survived. Then the Japanese started making cars most Americans like. A tad under-powered? Sure, but the vehicle was put together tightly and that most people swore the engine would run until the sun cooled. We had upgrades in safety and performance along the way; airbags, anti-lock brakes, fuel injection. All fought by those who resisted change. I get to take my car in for an oil change tomorrow. My indie mechanic runs off specs and maintenance schedules. If the specs make sense and the schedule says it’s time, work gets done. I understand that EVs need very little maintenance; tire rotation, cabin air filters, washer fluid, and wiper blades. If you’re a homeowner, you’re prime candidate for an EV. Plug in your commuter beast and night and do the daily slog. I have a feeling the people having conniptions about EVs are the same people who had umbrage about home computers and the internet. Then they discovered NSFW material and TTAC. -evil grin- perhaps the anti-EV people are against microwave bacon too. Which car manufacturers get their engines from another company? Usually bespoke or built in a shed, OK a nice shed, British car companies. Ford doesn’t want to have to buy their engines from another company.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @el scotto–Agree but I am not there yet. Still waiting for battery technology to improve, the infrastructure to expand, and more affordable selection. I am usually a late adopter of all technology including CDs, DVDs, flat screen TVs, and my 2012 Buick LaCrosse E-Assist (hybrid). I never had a muscle car but I had a 77 Monte Carlo, 84 5th Avenue, 78 Buick Regal Limited, 2000 Taurus,various compact cars, and 5 different pickups mostly compact and midsize.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Ford should add a microchip making facility to Oval City as well.

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