Ford’s biggest investment to date may seem like a gamble, but anyone that has paid attention to the automotive industry as of late can see the writing on the walls. Combustion-based vehicles are on the way out, and before too long, everything will be electric… and eventually, self-driving. That’s a bit of a bummer for automotive enthusiasts that truly love the roar of a powerful engine and the art of driving. But as the song says, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”
Ford is partnering with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation to build two massive campuses in Tennessee and Kentucky that’ll cater to next-gen electric vehicle and battery production.
Blue Oval City will be located in Stanton, Tennessee, and will be constructed on a nearly six-square-mile site. The $5.6 billion mega campus will create roughly 6,000 new jobs where people will assemble electric F-Series vehicles. A battery manufacturing plant will also be situated on-site, alongside key supplier and recycling facilities.
Ford said it is designing the campus to be carbon neutral with zero landfill waste once fully operational. It’ll also be Ford’s largest, most advanced and most efficient auto production complex in the company’s 118-year history.
The BlueOvalSK Battery Park, meanwhile, will bring 5,000 jobs to Glendale, Kentucky. This $5.8 billion manufacturing complex will feature twin battery plants that’ll supply batteries for next-gen electric Ford and Lincoln models.
Production at the new facilities isn’t expected to begin until sometime in 2025, however, and with any luck, the ongoing chip shortage will have eased or fully passed by then.