DEARBORN – Ford Motor Co., announced Tuesday it would spend $100 million to build its new global battery center of excellence – Ford Ion Park – in Romulus.
The move is accelerating the company’s research and development of battery and battery cell technology – including future battery manufacturing.
“Ford already is delivering on our plan to lead the electric revolution with strong new vehicles including Mustang Mach-E, 2022 E-Transit available late 2021 and the 2022 F-150 Lightning available from spring next year,” said Anand Sankaran, Ford Ion Park director. “The new lab will help Ford speed up the battery development process to deliver even more capable, affordable batteries and is part of Ford’s renewed commitment to making Michigan a centerpiece of its focus on EVs.”
A new collaborative learning lab opening next year, Ford Ion Park represents $100 million of Ford’s $185 million investment in developing, testing, and building vehicle battery cells and cell arrays. It is part of the company’s $30 billion investment in electrification by 2025 and a renewed commitment to making Michigan a centerpiece of its focus on EVs.
In 2010, Ford committed to making Michigan its center of excellence for electric vehicles and chose the lab’s Romulus location with collaboration and expedited tech sharing in mind. The company has committed to assemble its all-new, all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning, with foreign and domestics parts, at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Mich. adding 500 direct jobs with the support of the Good Jobs for Michigan Program. Ford also repositioned its half-century-old Van Dyke Transmission Plant in May – renaming it the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center and expanding its production line to produce electric motors and electric transaxles for hybrid and fully electric vehicles, retaining a total of 225 Michigan jobs.
“Ford’s investment in battery research and development in Romulus will support hundreds of good-paying jobs, attract innovative talent to Michigan, and help us continue leading the world in advanced mobility and manufacturing,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Ford is an American icon that has left its mark on the world over a century, and with the research that will take place at Ford Ion Park, they will shape the next century while reducing emissions and accelerating electrification.”
“We are thankful for the support of the MEDC and the Michigan Strategic Fund in helping establish Ford Ion Park in Romulus,” said Sankaran.
Ford will refurbish an existing 270,000 sq.-ft. facility to house up to 200 engineers and include world-class pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell and array design and manufacturing engineering and innovation.
The lab will use state-of-the-art technology to pilot new manufacturing techniques that will allow Ford to research and quickly scale breakthrough battery cell designs with novel materials as part of its plan to vertically integrates battery cells and batteries.
From mines to recycling, the Ford Ion Park team is working with experts across the company, including experts at Ford’s previously announced Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory, Ford Customer Service Division, plus key suppliers and partners.