The South Korean car battery manufacturer SK Innovation (SKI) wants to expand its production capacities in the USA together with the car manufacturer Ford. The two companies said they signed an agreement in the U.S. to establish a multibillion-dollar joint venture for the production of battery cells and related equipment. The joint venture will be called Blue Oval Sk and will supply the U.S. automaker starting in 2025. Besides Ford, Volkswagen is also an important contractual partner of SKI.
According to SKI, investment of 6 trillion won (about 4.4 billion euros) is planned for the new joint venture. Last year SKI had completed its first battery factory in Georgia, a second factory is under construction there.
Enough for 600.000 E-Pick-up Ford F-150 Lightning
"SK Innovation is a key partner helping to deliver batteries with better range and value for our all-electric vehicles from the middle of the decade", Ford’s North American Managing Director Lisa Drake was quoted as saying. Blue Oval SK’s annual capacity is expected to be 60 gigawatt hours. This meant that around 600.000 e-pickup Ford F-150 Lightning to be assembled.
The announcement of the joint venture was preceded last month by an agreement between SKI and its domestic competitor LG Energy Solution to end a two-year legal dispute. LG Energy Solution’s parent company, LG Chem, had sued SKI in the U.S. over allegations of stealing trade secrets. Volkswagen as well as US President Joe Biden had buried the agreement. LG is currently building a battery factory with General Motors in Ohio, which should be completed next year.