SK On, the battery-making subsidiary of South Korean energy firm SK Innovation, is planning to accelerate the start of production of its planned new battery factory in the US with Ford by three months, TheElec has learned.
Blue Oval SK, the South Korean battery maker’s joint venture with the US car giant, is planning to place orders for production equipment in the planned factory in Kentucky, called BOSK1, within the year, sources said.
SK On could start placing orders for BOSK2, planned to at Tennessee, at a similar time frame though this plan isn’t finalized yet, they said.
Equipment will be delivered and start installation at BOSK2 during the second half of 2023, with commercial production beginning in 2024.
The two factories are planned to have an annual production capacity of 43GWh each.
They will make both long axis batteries (600mm) and conventional ones (300mm).
Each factory will have 17 assembly lines. BOSK3 will have a similar design and capacity but equipment installation will begin for this factory during the second half of 2024 at the earliest.
The South Korean battery maker shared this updated plan with its equipment suppliers recently.
SK’s acceleration plan reflects the high growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market in the US. The government there has announced generous incentives for those in the EV ecosystem. Automobile companies have also announced that they will build new battery factories of their own.