In March 2022, Ford, SK Innovation’s SK On, and Koç Holding announced a non-binding MOU to create a commercial vehicle battery production site in Turkey. However, the agreement might not materialize.
Bloomberg reported that, according to unofficial sources, the joint venture plan will be canceled, although it does not necessarily mean that there will be no battery plant.
The following report says that SK On might be replaced by LG Energy Solution in the project.
Let’s recall that Ford plans to have a new EV battery plant in Turkey, with an output of 30-45 GWh annually, to support its commercial electric vehicle production. The Ford E-Transit is already produced in the country and has been since April (as the second manufacturing site after Kansas).
A battery factory nearby, ready for production in 2025, would allow the production of more electric vans, but it seems that the three partners have disagreements on how to proceed forward. At least if the rumor is true.
The report says that a new memorandum of understanding with LG Energy Solution might be officially announced within weeks – this month or in February.
“Ford and LG Energy Solution plan to sign a memorandum of understanding within the coming weeks, probably in late January or early February, according to two people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the change in partners is not public.”
Meanwhile, Ford will continue its partnership with SK Innovation’s SK On in other countries (including an increase in cell supply from Hungary). The South Korean manufacturer produces batteries for the Ford F-150 Lightning in Georgia and is engaged in two other projects with Ford in the United States – in Tennessee (1x 43 GWh) and in Kentucky (2x 43 GWh).
More info about Ford’s battery supply chain can be found here.
LG Energy Solution also is not a new partner for Ford. The two companies actually have been working together for a long time, and currently, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is powered by LGES battery cells.
As far as we understand, competition between SK On and LG Energy Solution is fierce. It will be interesting to see whether there really will be a change of battery partner and what are the reasons, but for that, we have to wait for official comments.