Ford has announced new investments into battery research and development under a new team called “Ford Ion Park” that could lead to new battery production.
When Ford started to get serious about electric vehicles, it created its “Team Edison,” which was behind the Mustang Mach-E and upcoming new electric vehicles from the brand.
But if you really want to get serious about electric vehicles, you need to secure a lot of battery cells.
That’s what Ford is now trying to do with the creation of a new team called Ford Ion Park:
Ford today announces a new global battery center of excellence – called Ford Ion Park – to accelerate research and development of battery and battery cell technology – including future battery manufacturing.
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, commented on the new effort:
We’re already scaling production of all-electric vehicles around the world as more customersexperience and crave the fun-to-drive benefits of electric vehicles with zero emissions. Investing in more battery R&D ultimately will help us speed the process to deliver more, even better, lower-cost EVs forcustomers over time.
Ford is putting a team of 150 people together to work through the entirety of the battery supply chain.
We are creating new tools and solutions we need for a carbon-free, affordable and better future. We are modernizing Ford’s battery development and manufacturing capabilities so we can better control costs and production variables in-house and scale production around the world with speed and quality.
Anand Sankaran, a longtime veteran of Ford, has been put in charge of the team:
Anand Sankaran will lead the Ford Ion Park team as its new director. A 30-year veteran of Ford, Sankaran brings to the new position decades of battery and electrification expertise – including his current role as the company’s director of Electrified Systems Engineering, as a 1999 Henry Ford Technology Award winner for his electrification work at the Ford Research Lab and a product development leader who applied his research and technical innovations on key production vehicles, including the award-winning original Escape Hybrid, 2021 Mustang Mach-E, and 2022 F-150 Hybrid.
While the new team is more about R&D, Ford is hinting at the potential for it to lead to battery manufacturing.
Along with the new Ford Ion Park team, they are building a new 200,000-square-foot lab that will include “pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell and array design and manufacturing, and will use state-of-the-art technology to pilot new manufacturing techniques.”
The new lab will be located in Allen Park, Michigan.
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