Ford initiates massive battery plant in Turkey

Ford plans to build an electric-vehicle battery plant in Turkey with South Korean battery maker SK On and its Turkish joint venture partner, Koc Holding.

The plant aims to have an annual production capacity of 30 to 45 gigawatt-hours, Ford and SK On said on Monday.

It will be located near the Turkish capital, Ankara, and will manufacture high-nickel NMC cells for assembly into battery array modules.

The plant is targeted to start operations by 2025, and it will be one of the largest EV battery facilities in the wider European region, Ford said.

Ford plans to build a new version of its Transit Custom van for the European market in Turkey in 2023 including full-electric and hybrid variants along with the combustion-engined version.

Ford said on Monday that Ford Otosan, Ford’s Turkish joint venture with Koc Holding, will assume ownership of the automaker’s plant in Craiova, Romania. Ford plans to build electric versions of the new Transit Courier and Tourneo Courier vans in Craiova in 2024. The vans are currently built in Turkey.

SK announced last year a plan to invest 10.2 trillion won ($8.22 billion) with Ford to build three battery plants in the U.S.

SK currently has battery production sites in the U.S., Hungary, China and South Korea.

SK On, which is SK Innovation’s wholly owned battery unit, counts Ford, Volkswagen and Hyundai among its customers.