Ford announces $185 Million investment in battery research and development center


DEARBORN, Mich. (WLNS)– Ford Tuesday announced a $185 Million investment in a battery research and development center, they’re calling Ford Ion Park.

The goal of the center is to accelerate research and development of battery and battery cell technology – including future battery manufacturing.

“We’re already scaling production of all-electric vehicles around the world as more customers experience and crave the fun-to-drive benefits of electric vehicles with zero emissions,” 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.”

According to the company, the team at the new plant will work with all teams including,  experts at Ford’s new Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory, Ford Customer Service Division, plus key suppliers and partners.

“We are creating new tools and solutions we need for a carbon-free, affordable and better future,” Thai-Tang said. “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.”

 Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement following Ford’s announcement:

This $185 million investment will bolster our economy, attract innovative talent to Michigan, and help us continue to lead the world in advanced mobility and manufacturing,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Ford is an American icon that has left its mark on the world over a century, and with this new facility and their research, they will shape the next century while reducing emissions and accelerating electrification.”  

Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan

The 200,000 sq.-ft Ford Ion Park building 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 said the company.

When making the announcement, the company also named Anand Sankaran as its new director. Sankaran is A 30-year veteran of Ford. The company says he brings decades of battery and electrification expertise – including his current role as the company’s director of Electrified Systems Engineering, as a 1999 Henry Ford Technology Award winner for his electrification work at the Ford Research Lab and a product development leader who applied his research and technical innovations on key production vehicles, including the award-winning original Escape Hybrid, 2021 Mustang Mach-E and 2022 F-150 Hybrid.

“Ford’s modern EV journey started with Escape Hybrid in 2004, the world’s first hybrid SUV, and it continues today – all driven by the inspiration to deliver no-compromise vehicles for a better world,” Sankaran said.

The latest announcement by Ford follows their commitment to invest $22 billion in electrified vehicles by 2025. 

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