SK Innovation, the parent company of battery maker SK On, and US automobile giant Ford is planning to form a joint venture in Europe to build another factory in the continent, TheElec has learned.
The venture and factory are highly likely to be set up in Turkey, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The factory will have an annual production capacity of 44GWh, enough to power over 600,000 electric vehicles with a drive distance of over 500km.
The spending plan will likely be announced during the first half of this year at the earliest.
The planned factory in Turkey is expected to have 18 battery production lines.
These will manufacture long-axis cells 300mm in width and 600mm in length.
The battery cells will be able to be used in the F series of pickup trucks made by Ford as well as its van and other vehicles. They will also be able to be used in pure and hybrid electric vehicles.
SK Innovation and Ford already has a joint venture called Blue Oval SK in the US, which announced in September last year that it plans to spend US$11.4 billion for a production capacity of 129GWh in the US. The venture is planning to build factories in Tennessee and Kentucky.
SK Innovation’s new spending plan for Europe is lower than the US as SK On already has factories in Hungary. Turkey is home to Ford’s automobile factory and other facilities of its tier-1 suppliers.
However, the people said SK and Ford could increase their spending in Europe.
SK On’s parts suppliers SK Nexilis and SK IE Technology also have facilities in Europe.
Meanwhile, SK On is planning to start spending in its factories in Ivancsa, Hungary and Yancheng, China this month, to expand their production capacities.