Ford agreed to form a joint venture with LG Energy Solution and Koç Holding to build a large battery cell plant for commercial electric vehicles in Turkey. The plant in Turkey had originally been planned with SK On, but that deal was canceled some time ago.
According to the three companies, the groundbreaking ceremony for the plant in Basjkent near the Turkish capital Ankara is expected to take place this year.
Production is scheduled to start in 2026, with the three companies committing to at least 25 GWh of annual production capacity, which could potentially be expanded to up to 45 GWh.
The site near Ankara is a logical choice because Ford and Koç Holding have operated a vehicle plant there for over 60 years through the Ford Otosan joint venture. Both companies build light commercial vehicles there, also with electric drive.
The Ford E-Transit for Europe comes off the production line there and already uses battery cells from LG ES, but these cells are still supplied from the LG plant in Poland, where the cells for the Ford Mustang Mach-E are also built.
“Ford continues to ramp up our electric vehicle plans as we scale to be a leader in the electric vehicle revolution,” said Lisa Drake, Vice President of Ford EV Industrialization. “We are delivering on the commitment to produce batteries in the same region where we build electric vehicles.”
“Establishing the new joint venture with LG ES and Koç Holding will lay a solid foundation, which is fundamental to building a thriving electric vehicle future for Ford in Europe,” she added.
This announcement confirms the rumor from early this year that Ford is changing its battery partner for Turkey. Initially, Ford and Koç wanted to build the Turkish plant for commercial vehicle battery cells together with SK On.
However, according to a recent report by the South Korean news agency Yonhap, this partnership, concluded in March 2022, was dissolved about a fortnight ago.
The Ford press release does not give reasons for the change of battery partner. In its report, Yonhap refers to industry sources that SK On pulled out of the project due to persistent losses and rising costs. However, this has not been confirmed yet by other sources.
LG Energy Solution, a split-off from LG Chem, has a sizeable global battery manufacturing network consisting of its manufacturing facilities in six countries (Korea, the US, China, Poland, Indonesia, and Canada), with a total annual production capacity of 200 GWh.
Koç Holding is Turkey’s leading investment holding company. It has been a driving force in the Turkish economy, with revenues corresponding to 8% of Turkey’s GDP and exports comprising 7% of Turkey’s total exports. Koç Holding has leading positions in the energy, automotive, consumer durables, and finance sectors.
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