Ford announced its plans to establish Ion Park which will have electric vehicle battery cell production and Research and development facility. It will cost $100 million for Ford to set up the park as announced. The Ion Park will be located in the company’s home state, in Romulus Michigan. Ford said, “The facility will include world-class pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell, and array design and manufacturing engineering and innovation,”
In September 2020, Ford’s former CEO Jim Hackett said that they wouldn’t be manufacturing batteries. Later after Jim Farley became the CEO, in April 2021, he said and announced a battery manufacturing plant. Ford further updated about the battery manufacturing facility, which will be known as Ion Park.
They received approval to transfer an existing Renaissance Zone from Michigan Strategic Fund. This 200,000 Square-foot facility will cost $100 million, which will be able to have 200 employees. As per the state approval, Ford will be exempted from income and other taxes till December 2025.
The Ion Park is scheduled to be open by next year. As the plant will be part of their shift to electric vehicles, Ion Park will be a key research lab for future progress. Ford’s team in the Park will be able to design and manufacture batteries which include lithium-ion batteries and solid-state batteries.
Ford Ion Park director, Anand Sankaran stated, “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. “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.”
Ion Park’s team will be working closely with Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory in Allen Park. Opened in 2020, the Allen Park Test Laboratory has 325 channels and 150 test chambers. They already tested more than 150 types of batteries.
Need for improvements
Mustang Mach-E is known as the second best-selling EV after Tesla Model 3. Electric vehicle fan clubs for Ford increased with Mach-E. However, Mach-E needs more improvements. Like when Sandy Munro unwrapped the vehicle, it was found that they have 250% more parts than Tesla. Being the second-best EV the vehicle needs to do better. There are many videos of Mach-E having better options, especially considering that they don’t compromise on the looks. Unlike Tesla’s minimalistic looks, users prefer Ford’s vehicle with a luxury look.
Ford plans to roll out various models, in the F-150 series in the coming years. Better performance of the vehicles is needed. Ford is catching up with the EV market in many ways. With experience in mass production, Ford is considered a serious competitor for Tesla.