Ford's six-square-mile BlueOval City manufacturing complex in Stanton, Tennessee is taking shape, and we recently had the opportunity to tour the site.
We covered the latest news about the facility in an article last week, but while we were there we also had the opportunity to get an exclusive interview with Ford CEO, Jim Farley.
With construction on the new factory ongoing and visible out of the rear window of the Ford F-150 Lightning we used as the interview studio, we asked the CEO a wide variety of questions ranging from battery mineral supply and solid-state batteries to the reasons why Stanton, Tennessee was chosen for BlueOval City.
The facility is on schedule to open in 2025, and at full capacity, will be able to make 500,000 vehicles and produce 43 GWh of batteries annually. The first vehicle to be made at the facility will be Ford's next-generation electric pickup truck, codenamed the T3.
The $5.6 billion mega-complex will be Ford's largest, most costly facility to date, and integral to the company's success as it transitions from combustion-powered to electric vehicles. BlueOval City will also be Ford’s first carbon-neutral vehicle manufacturing and battery campus.
Notable chapters in the video:
- 01:16 Touring BlueOval City in Stanton, Tennessee
- 05:18 Interview with Ford CEO, Jim Farley
- 07:14 Why did Ford choose Tennessee for BlueOval City?
- 08:47 What about LFP batteries?
- 10:05 Has Ford moved beyond the supply chain issues of 2022?
- 12:40 How important is it for Ford to control its own battery supply?
- 14:10 How will Ford deal with battery mineral sourcing?
- 15:29 The future of solid-state batteries and affordable electric vehicles
- 16:43 Ford's next-generation electric truck codenamed the T3
We started out the interview by asking Farley why the rural town of Stanton, Tennessee was chosen for BlueOval City. One of the reasons the CEO offered was because the electricity provider in the area the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) offers some of the most affordable clean electricity in the nation.
BlueOval City is going to need a lot of power so the cost of the electricity as well as the need for it to be clean had to be considered in choosing a site. The company's stated goal is to power all of its plants globally with renewable and carbon-free electricity by 2035.
The interview then shifted to cover topics including supply chain issues, battery mineral sourcing, and solid-state batteries before Farley finished up by telling us how excited he is about the next-generation electric truck that Ford is working on, which will be built at BlueOval City.
So check out the video for the full interview. We've added some timestamps for the notable chapters above if you'd prefer to jump around from topic to topic.