Ford pauses work, limits spending on $3.5 billion EV battery plant with CATL

Ford is pausing construction on its $3.5 billion EV battery plant in Marshall, Michigan, with plans to limit spending for the time being.

Ford pauses construction at planned EV battery plant

Ford spokesperson T.R Reid told The Detroit News Monday, “We’re pausing work, and we’re going to limit spending on construction at Marshall until we’re confident about our ability to competitively run the plant.”

According to Reid, no final decisions have been made about the planned $3.5 billion investment to build a new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) EV battery plant in the area.

Reid said the pause in construction would begin Monday, and “a number of considerations” were at play without indicating it had to do with the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) strike.

The plant “BlueOval Park Michigan” was slated to begin LFP battery production in 2026 with plans to employ 2,500 people. LFP batteries offer a cheaper alternative to NCM, which Ford says will help the company “contain or even further reduce EV prices.”

Ford CEO Jim Farley announces $3.5B EV battery plant (Source: Ford)

Even before the plant was expected to open, Ford introduced LFP batteries on the Mustang Mach-E this year, while the F-150 Lightning is set to receive them in 2024.

The new Michigan plant was expected to produce around 35 GWh of new battery capacity annually, capable of powering roughly 400,000 future Ford EVs. Ford planned to manufacture the cells through a partnership with China’s CATL to use its LFP cell knowledge and services.

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Source: Ford)

The plant would be the first LFP battery facility in the US, boosting domestic production. However, several Republican lawmakers criticized the project, expressing concerns over Ford’s relationship with CATL.

It’s unclear whether the construction halt will impact Ford’s future EV production plans. The planned 400,000 EVs would represent around 20% of Ford’s forecasted global two million output in 2026.

Reid confirmed to Electrek that the report is accurate, adding, “We haven’t made any final decision about the planned investment there.” We will update the article as the situation unfolds.

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