EV production is serious business, and at the scale we need, the industrial effort needs to be seriously large. Tesla has answered that call with gigafactories in several countries, and everyone else who wants to be a future player is expanding global supply and manufacturing networks to do what needs to be done to complete their part of the EV transition. But we haven’t seen anyone build an entire city’s production… until now.
Ford has announced the groundbreaking of BlueOval City, its latest and state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing complex, which happens to be the largest in the company’s 119 years since it was established. Ford knows it will take historic effort to build enough electric cars and a historic factory complex to support the effort.
The $5.6 billion investment by Ford and SK On to build a pioneering electric truck and advanced batteries for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles in West Tennessee was made less than a year after the two companies signed their agreement. When production begins in 2025, the nearly 6 square kilometer megacampus will provide around 6,000 new jobs.
“We’re building the future right here in West Tennessee,” said Eric Grubb, Ford’s director of new footprint engineering. “This facility is the blueprint for Ford’s future manufacturing facilities and will enable Ford to help lead America’s transition to electric vehicles.”
Ford – America’s No. 2 electric car brand – is getting closer to its goal of a production rate of 2 million electric cars worldwide by the end of 2026 with construction underway at the BlueOval City.
“Ford’s historic investment in West Tennessee is a testament to our state’s strong business climate and unmatched workforce,” said Governor Bill Lee. “BlueOval City will have a transformative impact on Tennesseans and our economy, and we are proud that this global company will call Haywood County home.”
Ford continues its involvement in various West Tennessee communities by holding live-streamed discussions and participating in collaborative projects. Most importantly, the company has partnered with the University of Tennessee to restore streams that run through the school’s Lone Oaks Farm and expand STEM education opportunities for K-12 students across the state.
Some big numbers Ford gave us
Significant progress has been made since March, when Ford and its construction partners began preparing the land for construction.
- More than 4.6 million cubic meters of soil have been removed, enough to fill more than 34,500 swimming pools.
- More than 370,000 tons of stone have been placed, weighing more than 1,600 Statues of Liberty.
- 4,600 deep foundations were built, extending the height of almost 176 Eiffel Towers (when placed end-to-end).
Putting their money where their mouth is
Keep in mind that Tesla made almost 1,000,000 electric cars by 2021. So committing to making 2 million electric cars by 2026 is not just catching up to Tesla, but doubling what it’s currently making. By that time, Tesla will probably also make much more, so the race continues. However, the scale of production to double what Tesla does now means that Ford will have to do a lot more than promises and sketches.
Making the largest factory complex the company has ever made shows that Ford is serious about achieving this goal.
All images provided by Ford.
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