Despite Tesla leading the electric vehicle (“EV”) charge as the largest EV producer in the world, legacy automakers are working hard to catch up with the California-based EV startup. Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), which recently unveiled an electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup truck, has announced that it will invest billions of dollars into significantly expanding its lineup of electric vehicles. This investment will see the American automaker build its largest-ever factory as well as two battery factories to provide battery packs for its EVs.
In partnership with South Korean energy company SK Innovations, Ford Motor Co. will invest a whopping $11.4 billion into building two massive manufacturing campuses to build electric vehicles, one in Kentucky and the other in Tennessee. The two sites will include three EV battery manufacturing factories and a plant for building batteries for electric pickups. The move represents Ford’s most significant manufacturing investment ever and it will create an estimated 11,000 new employment opportunities, welcome news for Kentucky and Tennessee as the states have struggled to recover since the collapse of the coal mining industry.
Bill Ford, the executive chair at Ford Motor, says the automotive industry is “on the cusp of a revolution” and electric vehicles will play a major role. This investment will allow the company to protect the planet from greenhouse gas emissions and build great electric vehicles for the American public, he says. Six thousand of the new jobs will be at the $5.6 billion mega-campus at Stanton, Tennessee. Dubbed the Blue Oval City, the site is expected to be where Ford manufactures electric versions of the F-series pickup truck as well as electric vehicle batteries.
Once it is operational, the Tennessee mega-campus will be carbon neutral with zero waste-to-landfill, Ford says. The remaining 5,000 new jobs will be at Blue OvalSK Battery Pack, a $5.8 billion facility at Glendale, Kentucky, that will produce batteries on two sites from 2025. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear praised the move, stating that the partnership between Ford and SK Innovations is the largest investment in the state’s history. Similarly, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee called the investment a “watershed moment for Tennesseans” because it puts the state at the forefront of the automotive industry and advanced manufacturing.
Ford chief executive Jim Farley notes that for the nascent EV sector to enjoy long-term success, government involvement will be crucial. The industry will need significant infrastructure and supply chain investments, as well as subsidies and incentives to make EVs more affordable for consumers, he says.
Legacy automakers such as Ford will have to contend with new kids on the block, including Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) and other EV startups, in the quest to dominate the electric vehicle industry in the years to come.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/NETE
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