STANTON, TENN., AND GLENDALE, KY. — Ford (NYSE: F) has unveiled plans to build Blue Oval City, a massive manufacturing campus for its electric vehicles in the tiny town of Stanton, approximately 50 miles northeast of Memphis and with a population of fewer than 500 people. In addition, the car builder is planning the BlueOvalSK Battery Park manufacturing campus in Glendale, approximately 50 miles south of Louisville, to produce the lithium-ion batteries that power those electric vehicles.
Ford estimates development costs for Blue Oval City at $5.6 billion and BlueOvalSK Battery Park, which will comprise two separate manufacturing facilities, at $5.8 billion. Both plants are scheduled to begin production in 2025. The auto maker predicts the Stanton location will create 6,000 jobs, while the Glendale location will create 5,000 jobs.
Blue Oval City will span 3,600 acres — nearly six square miles — and focus on producing F-Series electric pickup trucks. The company noted that it will work with Redwood Materials on domestic battery recycling and that the facility will be carbon neutral, producing zero landfill waste once fully operational.
In addition to the new plant, Ford said it will make a new investment to increase production of the F-150 Lightning pickup in Dearborn, Michigan, starting next year.
The Kentucky battery plants, spanning 1,500 acres, will supply power for Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles. The partner on the project is SK Innovation, a South Korea-based battery manufacturer.
“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,” says Bill Ford, executive chair at Ford.
Ford notes that there is strong demand for its electric vehicles, particularly the Ford F-150 Lightning truck, E-Transit and Mustang Mach-E. The company recently announced plans to expand production capacity and add jobs at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn.
The company, which is investing $30 billion in electric vehicles through 2025, expects 40 to 50 percent of its global vehicle production to be fully electric by 2030.
To staff its massive manufacturing expansion, Ford is also investing $525 million — with $90 million of that in Texas alone — on job training and career readiness initiatives for electric vehicle technicians.
Ford’s stock price opened at $14.63 per share on Tuesday, Sept. 28, up from $6.69 one year ago. That’s a year-over-year increase of 118 percent.
— Jeff Shaw