Ford Motor Company is betting big on electric vehicles and on Kentucky. The automaker is making its largest single manufacturing investment in the company's 118-year history with plans to build two battery manufacturing plants in Hardin County.
In the midst of a global pandemic and national economic downturn, Kentucky leaders celebrated the good news outside the State Capitol on Tuesday. Governor Andy Beshear said the project will make Kentucky the national leader for electric vehicle batteries.
“These enormous plants will capture the attention of the entire world," stated Beshear. "Every nation will know exactly where Kentucky is and who we are because we know horsepower and it's about to be generated in a whole new way.”
Ford and South Korea-based energy company SK Innovations will invest $5.8 billion to build twin battery manufacturing plants just off Interstate 65 in Glendale. The megasite, which will generate 86 gigawatt hours,
builds on Ford’s partnership with Kentucky that began more than a century ago when Model Ts rolled off the assembly line in Louisville. The roughly 1,500-acre campus will be called Blue Oval-SK Battery Park.
Bill Ford, Executive Chair of Ford Motor Company, said Kentucky will set a new standard for American manufacturing.
“Anybody who knows me knows my two passions have always been developing great vehicles and protecting the environment," commented Ford. "Technology and innovation have brought us to the point where we don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. We will drive American prosperity and protect the planet.”
Beshear thanked the Kentucky legislature for recently approving more than $400 million in incentives to support Ford's planned investment. Five-thousand full-time workers will produce advanced lithium ion batteries starting in 2025 for Ford and Lincoln vehicles as the automaker ramps up electric vehicle production. Ford expects at least 40% of its global seriesto be electric vehicles by 2030.