Ford to Scale Back Investment in EV Battery Plant in Michigan
Ford Motor has announced plans to scale back its investment, capacity, and job creation for an electric-vehicle (EV) battery plant in Michigan. This decision comes after facing criticism from U.S. lawmakers due to its partnership with Chinese battery maker CATL. However, Ford remains committed to producing low-cost lithium-iron batteries based on CATL’s technology at the factory.
After a two-month pause, Ford will resume construction of the battery plant near Marshall, Michigan. The company aims to begin production of the batteries by 2026.
Ownership and Labor Organization
Ford will retain ownership of the factory and has given the United Auto Workers the opportunity to organize its workers without a vote. This move demonstrates Ford’s commitment to its employees and their rights.
Concerns Raised by Lawmakers
Lawmakers in the U.S. have raised concerns about Ford’s collaboration with CATL, as they oppose Chinese entities benefiting from American EV subsidies. Ford is advocating for the U.S. Treasury Department to approve the use of lithium-iron (LFP) batteries manufactured at the Michigan factory to qualify for Inflation Reduction Act EV subsidies.
Ford has made adjustments to its original plans for the battery plant. The initial investment of $3.5 billion will be reduced, aligning with the scaled-back capacity of 20 gigawatt hours. The number of jobs created will also be reduced to 1,700.
Rival automaker General Motors has also slowed down its EV investments in North America due to rising interest rates impacting demand. Both GM and Ford will provide investors with updates on their outlooks in the near future.
Ford’s capital investment will also be reduced, proportional to the 40% capacity reduction. This indicates a new estimated investment of around $2 billion. In October, Ford announced a $12 billion cut in future electric vehicle investments compared to its previous plans.
Despite scaling back its plans, Ford remains committed to producing affordable lithium-iron batteries at the Michigan factory. The company’s decision reflects the changing landscape of the EV market and its dedication to adapt to industry trends.
Read More of this Story at www.reuters.com – 2023-11-21 16:39:00
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