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Ford Closes EV Battery Plant Deal. Billions in Spending Is Coming.

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Ford is aiming to sell two million EVs globally a year by 2026.

Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images

Ford Motor

and Korea’s

SK Innovation

sealed the deal on the creation of a joint venture that will bring more battery-production capacity to the U.S. and feed the Detroit car company’s ambitions as a maker of electric cars.


(ticker: F) and SK (096770.Korea) announced the JV, called Blue Oval, back in September, making it final on Thursday. The new entity will bring a battery plant to Tennessee and two to Kentucky, creating thousands of jobs.

Ford will spend roughly $6.6 billion over the coming five years. The total cost of the facilities will top $11 billion. Battery production should start around 2025, helping Ford meet its goal of selling two million EVs globally a year by 2026.

Ford’s Blue Oval spending is part of its plan to spend roughly $35 billion on vehicle electrification by 2025. That investment began years ago and has yielded some popular EVs already.

Ford has chosen to electrify its highest-volume, best known brands. The company sold more than 27,000 Mustang Mach E electric crossover vehicles in 2021. Shipments of the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck and electric Transit van—one of the bestselling commercial vehicles in the world—started recently as well.

Investors have given Ford credit for its ambitions to be an EV maker. The stock gained 136% in 2021 and traded as high as $25.87 in 2022, though it is down about 45% so far this year as investors have focused more on the near term. Inflation, rising interest rates, and recession fears have hit investor sentiment. Auto stocks in the

Russell 3000 Index
are down about 34% so far this year, on average.

Ford stock was down 2.7% at $11.20 shortly after the market opened, while the

S&P 500
was 1.9% lower. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 1.9%.

Stocks fell Wednesday as well, after June inflation data came in higher than expected.

Write to Al Root at

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