Ford to build electric vehicle battery plants in Kentucky, creating 5,000 new jobs

The new dedicated electric vehicle battery manufacturing complex, BlueOvalSK Battery Park,...
The new dedicated electric vehicle battery manufacturing complex, BlueOvalSK Battery Park, will be built in Glendale and is scheduled to begin production in 2025.(Ford Motor Company)
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT
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GLENDALE, Ky. (WAVE) - Ford Motor Company will be bringing new jobs to Kentucky in an effort to increase production of electric vehicle parts.

The electric vehicle battery manufacturing complex, BlueOvalSK Battery Park, will be built in Glendale and is scheduled to begin production in 2025, according to Ford.

Twin battery plants will be created to supply other Ford plants across North America with locally assembled batteries to power Ford’s electric vehicles, including the Ford F-150 Lightning, E-Transit, and Mustang Mach-E.

The company said the 1,500-acre campus would create 5,000 new jobs in the Hardin County area.

Ford will also build a mega campus in Tennessee that will create an entire ecosystem to assemble electric F-Series vehicles as well as manufacture batteries.

Through a partnership with SK Innovation, Ford plans to invest $5.8 billion in the Kentucky plant and $5.6 billion in the Tennessee plant.

“This is a transformative moment where Ford will lead America’s transition to electric vehicles and usher in a new era of clean, carbon-neutral manufacturing,” Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford said in a release. “With this investment and a spirit of innovation, we can achieve goals once thought mutually exclusive – protect our planet, build great electric vehicles Americans will love and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”

Following the announcement, several state leaders issued comments on Ford’s economic investment in Hardin County.

“We thank Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation for their investment in Team Kentucky,” Ky. Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement. “This is the single largest investment in the history of our state, and this project solidifies our leadership role in the future of the automotive manufacturing industry. It will transform our economy, creating a better Kentucky with more opportunities for our families for generations. Our economy is on fire, and now, it’s electric. Never again will we be thought of as a flyover state. Our time is now. Our future is now.”

“I applaud Ford for their decision to bring their new battery plants to Hardin County, which will provide a much-needed economic boost to the region and create thousands of well-paying Kentucky jobs,” U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said. “With Ford’s commitment, we have further solidified our role as a world-class automotive state on the cutting edge of research and development. I look forward to continuing to pursue pro-business policies in Kentucky and nationwide that will allow great American companies like Ford to continue to prosper and grow our economy.”

“I’m thrilled to see that Hardin County was chosen as the site to build an innovative battery manufacturing campus,” U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie said. “With a historic $5.8 billion investment and 5,000 new jobs, Kentuckians in Glendale and the surrounding region will see new opportunities and an economic boost for years to come. I want to thank Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation for putting your trust and investments in hardworking Kentuckians.”

“We are thrilled to see a crucial Kentucky Chamber company, like Ford, expand their investment in the Commonwealth,” Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts said. “This announcement will bring the jobs of the future and further secure Kentucky’s role as the leader in auto manufacturing. The Chamber thanks the Governor and the General Assembly for recognizing the importance of this investment.”

People who live in Glendale told WAVE 3 News the town has mixed emotions about the announcement.

Brian Cardin likes Glendale’s small-town feel the way it is.

“It’s a very Hallmark Channel feel,” he explained. “A lot of people are afraid that’s going to go away because mass development , a lot of houses being built, a lot more traffic even as we see right now going by.”

Cardin said ultimately, he’s in favor of the plan because of the incoming job opportunities. Jarrett Abell agrees.

“It’s right in the middle of Hart County, LaRue County, Hardin County,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that travel a lot further distances than that for a good job.”

Gov. Andy Beshear is expected to make a formal announcement Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in Frankfort with Ford officials.

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