Ford will invest $3.5 billion to build what it says is the country’s first automaker-backed lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery plant, offering customers a second battery technology within its EV lineup. The facility, called BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, will initially employ 2,500 people when production of LFP batteries begins in 2026. Ford will have the option to further grow its battery capacity at the Marshall, Mich., plant, which will be part of a wholly owned Ford subsidiary and add approximately 35 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year of LFP battery capacity in the U.S.
SECO/VACUUM received an order from an electric-vehicle (EV) manufacturer for a two-chamber vacuum furnace that will be used in the company’s R&D lab to low-pressure carburize (LPC) and oil quench prototype gears. The CaseMaster Evolution (CMe) has a working hot zone of 16 x 16 x 24 inches (400 x 400 x 600 mm) and a load capacity of 440 pounds (200 kg). It has a separate heating chamber, where product is heated and carburized, and a quenching chamber, where the load is immersed in an oil bath for rapid quenching. Both chambers are isolated with a vacuum door.
The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced the first set of projects funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and the electrical grid and for materials and components currently imported from other countries. The 20 companies will receive a combined $2.8 billion to build and expand commercial-scale facilities in 12 states to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials; manufacture components; and demonstrate new approaches, including manufacturing components from recycled materials.
BMW Group announced a $1.7 billion investment in its U.S. operations, including $1 billion to prepare for the production of electric vehicles at the company’s existing manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, S.C., and $700 million to build a new high-voltage battery assembly facility in nearby Woodruff, S.C. The new facility will encompass over 1 million square feet and produce next-generation batteries for fully electric vehicles. Around 300 new jobs will be created. BMW Group will build at least six fully electric models in the U.S. by 2030.
Our Next Energy (ONE) will invest $1.6 billion to build its first-ever battery manufacturing campus in Wayne County, Mich. According to a press release from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the facility will be one of the few wholly U.S.-owned manufacturers of both LFP and anode-free cells. The 659,589-square-foot gigafactory, which the company has dubbed ONE Circle, will create 2,112 new jobs. The campus plans to scale to 20 GWh capacity within five years, and will include raw-material refinement, cathode materials production, and cell and battery manufacturing.
Toyota announced an additional investment of $2.5 billion in its newest North American facility, Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC). This investment adds capacity to support battery electric vehicle (BEV) battery production and adds 350 jobs, bringing total employment to approximately 2,100. Scheduled to begin production in 2025, the facility will produce batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and BEVs.
Honda Motor Co. and LG Energy Solution announced an agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) to produce lithium-ion batteries in the United States to power Honda and Acura EV models for the North American market. The companies will invest a total of $4.4 billion in the plant, which aims to have an annual production capacity of approximately 40 GWh. The pouch-type batteries produced at the JV plant will be supplied exclusively to Honda facilities in North America. While the location for the facility is yet to be finalized, the companies plan to begin construction in early 2023 in order to enable the start of mass production of lithium-ion battery cells by the end of 2025.
Lotte Aluminium Materials USA LLC will invest $238.7 million to build an aluminum foil manufacturing operation in Elizabethtown, Ky. The facility, which will create 122 full-time jobs, is expected to begin operation in 2025. The joint venture between Lotte Chemical and Lotte Aluminium will annually produce 36,000 tons of cathode foil, a type of ultra-thin aluminum foil that is a core material used in electric-vehicle (EV) batteries. Cathode foil is one of the four major components of lithium-ion batteries. It supports the cathode active material that determines the capacity and voltage of the secondary battery and, at the same time, serves as a passage for electrons.
Panasonic Energy Co. Ltd., a Panasonic Group company, plans to invest approximately $4 billion to build a lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in De Soto, Kan. The project could create up to 4,000 new jobs. Panasonic Energy plans to expand its production of EV batteries as the automotive industry shifts to more sustainable electric technologies. The planned facility in Kansas supports the company’s commitment to contribute to society by reducing global carbon emissions. The announcement comes five years after Panasonic Group began production of lithium-ion batteries at Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA) in Sparks, Nev. While PENA’s operations in Sparks will continue, the new facility in Kansas is intended to further support Panasonic’s long-term commitment to advancing the EV industry in the United States.
GKN Powder Metallurgy (GKN PM) announced its commitment to enter the permanent magnets for electric vehicle (EV) market in response to the supply challenges the industry is facing. The company says it is well positioned to meet the ever-increasing demand for a stable, local supply of permanent magnets, which are a vital component of EV motors. Using its industry expertise, existing production processes and manufacturing capabilities in North America and Europe, GKN PM will bring stability in the manufacturing of permanent magnets. Significant progress in product development has already been made, and the business is now entering the phase of industrialization planning. A dedicated Magnets project team operates out of the company’s Innovation Centres for metal powders in Cinnaminson, N.J., and for sinter-metal manufacturing in Radevormwald, Germany.