Jump to content





rperez817

Ford's new "Ion Park" Battery R&D Lab

Recommended Posts

Ford Accelerates Battery R&D with Dedicated Team, New Global Battery Center of Excellence Named Ford Ion Park | Ford Media Center

 

  • Building on nearly two decades of battery expertise, Ford creates new global battery center of excellence – called Ford Ion Park – in southeast Michigan; cross-functional team in place to drive high-volume battery cell delivery, better range and lower costs for customers
  • Ford Ion Park will use state-of-the-art equipment to pilot new manufacturing techniques that will allow Ford to quickly scale breakthrough battery cell designs with novel materials once the company vertically integrates battery cells and batteries
  • $185 million collaborative learning lab coming next year will develop and manufacture lithium ion and solid-state vehicle battery cells and arrays, test manufacturing approaches, while team optimizes all aspects of the value chain – from mines to recycling

 

BatteryFacility_AllenPark_11.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, rperez817 said:

....while team optimizes all aspects of the value chain – from mines to recycling

 

That will be the ultimate key to the success or failure of all EV's...what to do with the lithium battery packs when the vehicle is sent to the bone yard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what my son wants to get into.  He's majoring in Material Science Engineering.  How to get battery raw materials out of ground with less environmental damage,  how to make batteries last longer, and what to do with them when life of battery is over.   He is finishing sophomore year, it was not a good year 2020 or 2021 to get an intern job though.  Hope next summer he gets a good intern job. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's nice.  BTW- how is the train station coming?  Too bad that money wasn't spent on BEV batteries.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Autoextremist talked about Ion Park in his rant this week. This is one of the few times the rant is actually valid and logical.

 

"Just this week Ford announced that it is spending $185 million on what it calls “Ford Ion Park” – a research and development lab that will focus on battery development – with the goal of eventually manufacturing its own cells. The problem is that it isn’t scheduled to open until “the end” of 2022, and remember, it’s an R&D facility. 

But that’s not all. Other manufacturers have advanced battery development programs and production facilities that are well down the road to completion. GM, for instance, has just announced a second battery build facility (with its partner LG Energy Solution) for its Ultium Cells that’s in the works for its Spring Hill, Tennessee, manufacturing complex and due to be online at the end of 2023. This is in addition to its facility well underway in Lordstown, Ohio, due to be completed in 2022.

What does this all mean for Ford? The clock is ticking yet again. It means that the company is demonstrably behind in the EV battery game. In fact, it doesn’t even have the first oar in the water. That this is a new dimension of Not Good for Ford is the inescapable conclusion."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rperez817 said:

Autoextremist talked about Ion Park in his rant this week. This is one of the few times the rant is actually valid and logical.

 

 

 

 

On the Discuss Detroit Forum, they report that walls are already going up on Ford Motor building in Alan Park that will be a battery plant. I do believe Ford assembles batteries at a plant in Ypsilanti also. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FordBuyer said:

 

On the Discuss Detroit Forum, they report that walls are already going up on Ford Motor building in Alan Park that will be a battery plant. I do believe Ford assembles batteries at a plant in Ypsilanti also. 

 Assembling a battery pack and producing battery cells is not the same thing. Ford have already announced the former for the F150 EV in Michigan, and at a plant site in Germany where EV's will be produced. Ford has not, thus far, announced intent to build a battery cell plant. That will change, probably soon, but hasn't happened yet. Hackett made a major strategic blunder in this arena, and Farley is scrambling to correct that mistake. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Harley Lover said:

Ford has not, thus far, announced intent to build a battery cell plant. That will change, probably soon, but hasn't happened yet. Hackett made a major strategic blunder in this arena, and Farley is scrambling to correct that mistake. 

 

Thank you Harley Lover sir for clarifying the situation regarding Ford's battery production capabilities. I agree this was a major mistake by Jim Hackett, probably the biggest one in his career as Ford CEO.

 

Building the vertical integration in battery systems including cells, packs/assemblies, software, etc. that Ford needs ASAP is going to be tough, especially as Ford's competitors forge ahead in this area. Ion Park Lab is a step in the right direction, but Autoextremist is definitely correct that right now "Not Good for Ford is the inescapable conclusion".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, FordBuyer said:

 

On the Discuss Detroit Forum, they report that walls are already going up on Ford Motor building in Alan Park that will be a battery plant

Where, specifically, in Allen Park ?

 

Quote

I do believe Ford assembles batteries at a plant in Ypsilanti also. 

If you are referring to the old Ypsi plant along I94, Ford sold that over 20 years ago.

 

I don't know of any other Ford facilities in Ypsilanti.

Edited by theoldwizard1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t see why it is so important for Ford to manufacture their own batteries, at least for the next few years. Mach E has demonstrated that Ford can buy batteries from suppliers that are at least equal to competitors that make their own. There’s been lots of talk about battery technology and huge sums spent on R&D but doesn’t seem much progress has been made. Solid state batteries everyone is so excited about are apparently years off at a minimum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Trader 10 said:

I don’t see why it is so important for Ford to manufacture their own batteries, at least for the next few years. 

 

The main reason it's important is that in-house battery production, combined with in-house system integration and software development capabilities, reduces design cycle times and speeds up innovations for battery systems. Those things are key competitive advantages that will determine which automakers will thrive and which won't even survive as the industry transitions away from ICE to 100% electric vehicles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Trader 10 said:

I don’t see why it is so important for Ford to manufacture their own batteries, at least for the next few years. Mach E has demonstrated that Ford can buy batteries from suppliers that are at least equal to competitors that make their own. There’s been lots of talk about battery technology and huge sums spent on R&D but doesn’t seem much progress has been made. Solid state batteries everyone is so excited about are apparently years off at a minimum.

 

Especially when we know a new generation of batteries is right around the corner.    Waiting might turn out to be an advantage if the current battery plants all have to be converted or rebuilt.

 

I don't think Ford's ICE vehicles are going away as fast as some people are predicting.  I think BEV sales will slowly increase with the most impact on mid-sized, mid-priced and luxury cars and utilities while cheaper ICE vehicles, larger SUVs, trucks and vans continue on for quite some time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, akirby said:

 

Especially when we know a new generation of batteries is right around the corner.    Waiting might turn out to be an advantage if the current battery plants all have to be converted or rebuilt.

 

I don't think Ford's ICE vehicles are going away as fast as some people are predicting.  I think BEV sales will slowly increase with the most impact on mid-sized, mid-priced and luxury cars and utilities while cheaper ICE vehicles, larger SUVs, trucks and vans continue on for quite some time.

 

I don't see BEVs making a huge impact for another 10+ years...2035 is still 14 years away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new generation of batteries will always be just around the corner.  Building battery production facilities does not necessarily committed Ford to manufacturing a certain type of battery, the important thing now is for Ford to catch up to other manufacturers in battery R&D and manufacturing facilities.  The only other solution would be to merge with another manufacturer that is further along.....

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

 

The main reason it's important is that in-house battery production, combined with in-house system integration and software development capabilities, reduces design cycle times and speeds up innovations for battery systems. Those things are key competitive advantages that will determine which automakers will thrive and which won't even survive as the industry transitions away from ICE to 100% electric vehicles.

 

You're putting way too much importance on battery cell manufacturing.   There are tradeoffs like any other part.  Doing it in house gives you more control and can make some things faster but it can also be more expensive because of the lower volume compared to Panasonic, LG, etc. and it can be difficult to scale up.   It also takes capital away from other things.

 

As long as they can get what they need from suppliers they'll be just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, 7Mary3 said:

 The only other solution would be to merge with another manufacturer that is further along.....

 

Or form a partnership with VW......

 

But seriously - why can't Ford purchase battery cells from other suppliers?   Even Tesla bought cells from a supplier up until recently.   That market and those manufacturers aren't going away and I'm sure more will be entering the market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, akirby said:

You're putting way too much importance on battery cell manufacturing.  

 

Not just manufacturing, but R&D as well. Battery cells represent the costliest part of manufacturing high voltage battery systems and powertrains for BEV, as well as the most important factor that determines overall BEV performance and efficiency.

Edited by rperez817

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rawsonville is the plant doing f-150 battery work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, akirby said:

 

You're putting way too much importance on battery cell manufacturing.   There are tradeoffs like any other part.  Doing it in house gives you more control and can make some things faster but it can also be more expensive because of the lower volume compared to Panasonic, LG, etc. and it can be difficult to scale up.   It also takes capital away from other things.

 

As long as they can get what they need from suppliers they'll be just fine.

 

Jim Farley apparently disagrees with you, and presumably he's in the best position to know what needs to be done. All indicators point to Ford following GM and VW (and other OEMs) into battery production. I think capital availability might be driving the timing of the decision  to go, but that's a guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Harley Lover said:

Jim Farley apparently disagrees with you, and presumably he's in the best position to know what needs to be done. 

 

Yes sir Harley Lover. A couple things that make Farley such a good businessman is his ability to think long term, and to learn from competitors. While Ford has a lot of catching up to do in the "battery game", Farley's leadership should help the company do just that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Harley Lover said:

 

Jim Farley apparently disagrees with you, and presumably he's in the best position to know what needs to be done. All indicators point to Ford following GM and VW (and other OEMs) into battery production. I think capital availability might be driving the timing of the decision  to go, but that's a guess.


I didn’t say say they shouldn’t do it.  I said if they don’t do it immediately it’s not a death sentence,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone with knowledge of battery tech aware of technology that is tied up with patent and trade secrets that would be difficult for Ford to acquire by license, company purchase, or good old fashioned employee poaching? For example I know at least a half dozen former Ford employees working at Tesla, so don't lecture on propriety of poaching. At some point, being basic in motors or batteries will be an advantage. Is Ford getting their toe wet too late or did the others burn cash too early? Took Toyota years to make money on hybrids. Tesla makes money, by virtue of carbon offset payments, from Ford and GM. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it should be pointed out that the only major mfr making their own batteries still can’t turn a profit selling cars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, akirby said:

 

Or form a partnership with VW......

 

But seriously - why can't Ford purchase battery cells from other suppliers?   Even Tesla bought cells from a supplier up until recently.   That market and those manufacturers aren't going away and I'm sure more will be entering the market.

I agree.  Until we know for sure that the market and infrastructure will actually support EVs on a mass scale, it would be wise to work with suppliers before jumping in with both feet.  This, I feel is even more important for AVs. The public has turned somewhat cold on the concept.  Ford would be better off spending the billions to fill holes in their lineups as opposed to trying to create tech the vast majority of the public has no interest in.  I think Stellantis is taking the best approach.  Fill the showrooms with "gotta have" product, and work with suppliers for the emerging technology before deciding to bring it in house. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, rperez817 said:

 

The main reason it's important is that in-house battery production, combined with in-house system integration and software development capabilities, reduces design cycle times and speeds up innovations for battery systems. Those things are key competitive advantages that will determine which automakers will thrive and which won't even survive as the industry transitions away from ICE to 100% electric vehicles.

The day of 100% Evs will never happen- at least for 50 years.  Too many obstacles that nobody wants to pay for, and too much cynicism. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×