CTOnews.com, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) Ford said on Tuesday local time that it had resumed construction of a battery plant in Michigan, but the scale was smaller than originally planned, on the grounds that demand for electric vehicles is expected to cool in the future.
In September, Ford suspended construction of the battery plant in Marshall, Michigan, when it said it was reassessing its competitiveness in running the plant. At the time, a spokesman said there were "a variety of considerations" behind the decision.
The number of batteries to be produced at the plant is about 40% less than originally planned. The company currently expects to employ about 1700 workers at the plant, down from about 2500 originally planned.
A few years ago, electric vehicles outside China seldom used LFP batteries, but this is the case.
TR Reid, director of communications for Ford and public policy, told Manufacturing Dive that Ford had re-evaluated the plan to ensure that automakers could operate the plant economically. These considerations include labour costs and government incentive schemes, he said.
He also points out that the main consideration is the growth rate of customers who buy electric cars. Although Ford's electric vehicle sales rose 44% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the penetration rate of electric vehicles was not as fast as companies, including general motors, had expected. As a result, Ford is adjusting accordingly. "We are optimistic about electric vehicles. Demand continues to grow strongly, albeit at a slower-than-expected rate."
He said all sides would be scaled back, including an initial planned investment of $3.5 billion (CTOnews.com Note: currently about 24.99 billion yuan). Compared with the previously announced 2500 jobs and annual 35GWh capacity, the plant is expected to create 1700 jobs in the future and produce 20 GWh of batteries a year.
Although the company has significantly adjusted the size of its economy, the timing remains the same, and they expect the Marshall plant to start producing lithium iron phosphate batteries in 2026.
"Ningde era: plan to build a plant in the United States with Ford goes smoothly"
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