SK-Ford Joint Venture to Make EV Batteries

  • By Lee Sung-hoon

    May 21, 2021 13:13

    SK Innovation will join hands with Ford in a W6 trillion joint venture to make electric-car batteries (US$1=W1,132).

    SK on Thursday said it signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. carmaker to build an electric-car battery plant in the U.S. with an annual capacity of about 60 GWh worth of battery cells. SK and Ford will go halves and the joint venture will be named Blue Oval SK.

    SK earlier pledged to invest US$5 billion in the production of electric-car batteries in the U.S., including its two plants in Georgia, by 2025. The new company is SK's first joint venture in the U.S.

    SK Innovation's new plant for electric vehicle batteries is under construction in Commerce, Georgia.

    The announcement came just two days after U.S. President Joe Biden visited Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, where he indulged in some anti-China rhetoric. "They think they are going to win," Biden said. "But I got news for them, they will not win this race. We can't let them."

    The F-150 electric pickup truck Biden was pictured riding was fitted with SK Innovation batteries.

    SK chairman Chey Tae-won, who is part of President Moon Jae-in's entourage during his ongoing U.S. trip, will visit the SK plant under construction in Georgia with Moon this weekend.

    Korean conglomerates are falling over themselves to heed Biden's call to invest in semiconductor and other tech areas in the U.S. because he is continuing his predecessor Donald Trump's "America First" economic policy, now rebranded "Made in America."

    Samsung, which has already decided to invest $17 billion in a semiconductor factory in the U.S., is expected to disclose an even bigger investment plan. Earlier, Hyundai said it will invest $7.4 billion in electric and self-driving cars in the U.S. by 2025, and LG Energy Solution, which formed a battery joint venture with GM in 2019, recently announced a plan to launch a second joint venture with the carmaker.

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