Ford, LG Energy Solution (LGES) and Koç Holding announced a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a new joint venture to create battery cell facilities near Ankara, Turkey.
That's actually the second agreement related to the matter, as in March 2022, Ford, SK Innovation's SK On, and Koç Holding announced a similar MoU. Earlier this year, we heard a rumor that there will be a change and LGES would replace SK On as the battery partner. Now we know that the rumor was correct, although we don't know why one South Korean battery manufacturer replaced the other one.
The plan is to build one of Europe's largest commercial electric vehicle battery cell facilities with an output of at least 25 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year and potentially up to 45 GWh per year at some point in the future. The previous MoU was about 30-45 GWh annually.
According to the press release, the project is on track to break ground in an organized industrial zone in Başkent, near Ankara, later this year, with production to start in 2026.
Ford sees the project as a key element for commercial vehicle production in Turkey, where the company already produces the Ford E-Transit in Turkey (since April 2022) and which was confirmed for an electric version of the next-generation Transit Custom (passenger and commercial version).
Ford, LG Energy Solution and Koç Holding battery JV in brief:
- Location: near Ankara, Turkey
- Partners: Ford, LG Energy Solution and Koç Holding
- Target volume: 25-45 GWh battery cells annually
- Production start: 2026
- Purpose: batteries, mostly for Ford's commercial vehicles
- Battery chemistry: no data
Lisa Drake, vice president, Ford EV Industrialization said:
"Ford continues to ramp up our electric vehicle plans as we scale to be a leader in the electric vehicle revolution. We are delivering on the commitment to produce batteries in the same region where we build electric vehicles. Establishing the new joint venture with LGES and Koç Holding will lay a solid foundation that is fundamental to building a thriving electric vehicle future for Ford in Europe,".
It's worth noting that LG Energy Solution is a long-standing battery supplier for Ford, recently supplying a high volume of batteries for the Ford Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit from its massive plant in Poland.
LG Energy Solution says that its current total global annual production capacity exceeds 200 GWh, while by the end of 2023, it will be at around 300 GWh/year.
Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution said:
"Our long-time business relationship with Ford is the result of our commitment to deliver unmatched product competitiveness, stable yields, and global operational expertise, made possible by our extensive knowledge accumulated through pre-emptive investments in global markets. Now joining forces with Ford and Koç in Turkey, we will bring in our leading battery technology to further boost the EV transition in Europe, thereby leading the global initiatives for a more sustainable future."