Ford is rocking the auto industry with $ 11.4 billion in investments in new electric vehicles and battery plants

Ford Motor Co. shocked the auto industry on Monday with news that it plans to spend $ 11.4 billion on new manufacturing facilities in Tennessee and Kentucky, where they’ll have electric pickup trucks and cars – and the batteries for theirs Drive – Scale wants to build on a large scale.

It will also create 11,000 jobs in the two states, which are struggling to recover from the collapse of the coal industry.

The audacity of Ford’s massive investment in electric vehicles was not lost on Ford CEO Bill Ford either.

“If my great-grandfather had seen our industry five years ago, it would have been very recognizable for him, it would not have changed much,” he said of Ford founder Henry Ford in an interview with Tom Costello from “NBC Nightly”. News.”

“There have been many developments, but no revolutions. Now we are on the cusp of a revolution. It’s not just electrification, although that’s a big part of it. “

It’s also an opportunity, Ford said in a statement, “achieving goals that were once mutually exclusive – protecting our planet, building great electric vehicles that Americans will love, and contributing to our nation’s prosperity.”

Of these new jobs, 6,000 will be for the Blue Oval City Campus in Stanton, Tennessee, a $ 5.6 billion mega-campus that will manufacture electric versions of the popular F-Series pickup truck along with electric batteries .

This new assembly plant “is designed to be carbon neutral and not to landfill once it’s fully operational,” Ford said in a statement.

“This is a turning point for the people of Tennessee as we lead the future of the automotive industry and advanced manufacturing,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican.

The remaining 5,000 new jobs will go to Glendale, Kentucky, and the $ 5.8 billion BlueOvalSK Battery Park, where batteries will be installed in two locations on campus starting in 2025 to power “electric Ford and Lincoln vehicles next generation ”.

“This is the largest single investment in our state’s history,” said Kentucky governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat. “We will never again be seen as an overflight state. Our time now. Our future in the now. “

Ford said the United States didn’t have a big battery manufacturing industry, and there was a reason his company decided to build a “beachhead” in two states where coal was once king.

“The only thing that drew us to both Tennessee and Kentucky is the workforce,” he said. “They both have a really good workforce and are ready to be trained for these jobs, and that was a big consideration.”

Tennessee and Kentucky are so called Right to work states where workers are not required to join trade unions as a condition of employment.

The company is also providing an additional $ 525 million to train technicians across the country who will work on servicing its new fleet of electric vehicles. Of this tuition fee, $ 90 million is spent in Texas alone.

Ford predicts that around 40 percent of its company’s vehicles will be electric by 2030. He vowed to turn the skeptics into believers who fear that switching from internal combustion engines to electric drives would mean a loss of power.

“I don’t think it’s going to be that hard once you see what these vehicles can do,” said Ford. “For example, they’re faster than lightning, they’re kind of very fast off-line, faster than anything else what’s out there. “

The new battery-powered Ford Mustang Mach-E, which can go from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, will be road tested by Michigan State Police, he said.

Also, Ford said, there are some things an electric vehicle can do that a gas-powered vehicle cannot.

“For example, it can be a backup generator for your house,” he said. “If the power goes out, connect your house to your (F-150) Lightning and you can supply your house with electricity for up to three days. It can also be a portable generator on the construction site. “

Costello asked Ford what his great-grandfather would think of “your new Model T for the 21st century”.

“I think he’d say, ‘Why did it take you so long?'” Ford replied.

About Paige McCarthy

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