Ford Ion Park, the carmaker’s new global battery center of excellence aimed at driving high-volume battery cell delivery, better range and lower costs for customers, will be based in Romulus, Michigan.
A $100 million investment, the facility will help Ford develop and manufacture lithium ion and solid-state battery cells and arrays to accelerate the company’s electrification efforts. The laboratory will also be the base for researching new tech and piloting advanced manufacturing techniques. Ford says this will allow it to quickly scale breakthrough battery cell designs and optimize all aspects of the value chain, from mining to recycling.
Ford Ion Park will feature a team of up to 200 engineers, researchers, purchasing and finance leaders. The lab’s team will work with experts at Ford’s previously announced Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory in Allen Park, Ford Customer Service Division, plus key suppliers and partners.
Gallery: Ford Battery Benchmarking And Test Laboratory In Allen Park Michigan
“The new lab will help Ford speed up the battery development process to deliver even more capable, affordable batteries and is part of Ford’s renewed commitment to making Michigan a centerpiece of its focus on EVs.”
Anand Sankaran, Ford Ion Park director
Opening next year in a refurbished 270,000 sq.-ft. facility, the new collaborative learning lab will include “world-class pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell and array design and manufacturing engineering and innovation.” Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, the facility will allow Ford to pilot new manufacturing techniques "to research and quickly scale breakthrough battery cell designs with novel materials as part of its plan to vertically integrate battery cells and batteries."
Initially announced in Allen Park, the location for the lab was changed to Romulus after the Michigan Strategic Fund accepted Ford's request to transfer an existing Renaissance Zone tax incentive. According to Automotive News citing the city of Detroit, the incentive includes a waiver of city income and utility users taxes, most city property taxes, county property taxes and state income tax or single business tax.
Ford says choosing Michigan was a logical move, as it committed in 2010 to making the state its center of excellence for electric vehicles. The carmaker will assemble its all-electric F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, as well as electric motors and electric transaxles for hybrid and fully electric vehicles at the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.