Ford Announces Ford Ion Park Global Battery Center
With Ford ramping up toward a fully electric lineup, battery production takes on a new level of priority. The automaker is meeting those needs with the newly announced Ford Ion Park, a global battery center that will focus on research and development to help scale needs to meet demand. Ford plans to open the new facility toward the end of 2022.
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“We’re already scaling production of all-electric vehicles around the world as more customers experience and crave the fun-to-drive benefits of electric vehicles with zero emissions,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer. “Investing in more battery R&D ultimately will help us speed the process to deliver more, even better, lower-cost EVs for customers over time.”
Ford Ion Park will spring forth from a $185,000 investment announced last week. This infusion of cash, part of the $22 billion investment in electrification, establishes a 200,000-square-foot collaborative learning lab in Southeast Michigan where the 150-strong team will commence crucial research. Consisting of experts in fields including development, manufacturing, planning, and quality, the team will also work closely with the suppliers and partners as well as other units within Ford.
That team will be headed by 30-year Ford veteran and current director of Electrified Systems Engineering Anand Sankaran, whose accolades include the 1999 Henry Ford Technology Award. Sankaran is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and holds 32 U.S. patents.
Ford Ion Park to work with new battery benchmark lab
The work done by Ford Ion Park will be supported by the Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory in Allen Park. The 185,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2020, boasts 150 test chambers and state-of-the-art tools necessary to test and develop battery tech. Thus far, the laboratory has analyzed 150 types of battery cells.
Ford is all systems go in its push to electrify its lineup. The all-new Mustang Mach-E launched late last year, and the first-ever all-electric F-150 goes into production in mid-2022. While Ford has not announced a deadline in the United States, it has committed to making its lineup fully electric in Europe by 2030.
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