Ford and SK On announced significant construction progress at BlueOval SK Battery Park in Kentucky, where the BlueOvalSK joint venture builds two large EV battery gigafactories.

Each of the factories is expected to have an annual output of 43 GWh of batteries (total of 86 GWh/year), which represents an equivalent to 860,000 packs - 100 kWh each.

This massive production capacity is one of the crucial elements of Ford plan to increase its global annual production run rate to 2 million electric vehicles by the end of 2026. Production of batteries at BlueOval SK Battery Park will start in 2025.

Construction progress at BlueOval SK Battery Park - December 2022
Construction progress at BlueOval SK Battery Park - December 2022

At the official event, Ford noted that the $5.8 billion investment is on schedule and listed several milestones achieved so far:

  • Moved 4.3 million cubic yards of soil, enough to fill 200 American football stadiums
  • Laid 283,000 tons of stone, equivalent to the weight of nearly 1,350 locomotives
  • Poured 66,000 cubic yards of concrete – enough to fill 356 backyard swimming pools
  • Installed 3,300 tons of rebar ties to reinforce the concrete, equivalent to the weight of more than 470 elephants
  • Installed 1,300 deep foundations, equal to the height of nearly 60 Empire State Buildings stacked end to end
  • Erected 7,900 tons of structural steel, equivalent to the weight of nearly 400 fire trucks

At the 1,500-acre site, the two partners will build also the new Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) BlueOval SK Training Center. According to the press release, the ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center is the only co-branded learning facility within the Kentucky Community College System and represents a $25 million investment by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) BlueOval SK Training Center rendering

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) BlueOval SK Training Center rendering

Jee Dong-seob, SK On president and CEO said:

“BlueOval SK Battery Park will be at the core of the electrification of the North American auto market. We expect SK On and Ford’s leadership in the global electric vehicle market to be solidified through BlueOval SK.”

Lisa Drake, vice president, Ford EV Industrialization said:

“Ford’s roots run deep in Kentucky, and BlueOval SK is going to help Ford to lead the EV revolution, bringing thousands of new, high-tech jobs to the Bluegrass State. Ford is building on more than a century of investment in Kentucky and its incredible workforce.”

David Hahm, BlueOval SK CEO said:

“At BlueOval SK Battery Park, we’re building the future – state-of-the-art batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles and a bright future for the workforce in Kentucky. In order to produce these batteries, we need a premier workforce that is trained in the latest battery and advanced manufacturing technology.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said said:

“The partnership between Kentucky and Ford dates back more than a century, to the very dawn of the automobile industry. That bond grows even stronger today as we break ground on Ford and SK On’s BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County. As both the largest economic development project in our state’s history and part of the biggest investment ever by Ford, this project cements Kentucky’s status as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States.”

Let's recall that in September, Ford also announced major progress at BlueOval City in Stanton, Tennessee, where a third 43 GWh battery factory (and an all-new EV factory) will be built.

Those two investments - in Kentucky and Tennessee - announced in September 2021, are the foundation for Ford's long-term electrficiation strategy. There might be even more battery and EV plants in the future, as the company already hinted at LFP battery cell production in North America.

Gallery: BlueOvalSK Battery Park in Kentucky

BlueOvalSK Battery Park in brief:

  • Glendale, central Kentucky
  • investment: $5.8 billion
  • a 1,500-acre campus 
  • 5,000 jobs
  • Production (from 2025):
    - BlueOvalSK joint venture: two 43 GWh plants (total of 86 GWh annually)
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