SK Innovation will supply batteries to Ford's next-generation electric trucks. This is the first time for domestic batteries to be applied to trucks, in addition to passenger cars or SUVs.
According to the industry on the 19th, SK Innovation will produce batteries for electric pickup trucks made by Ford of America in Jackson County, Georgia, USA. It is SK Innovation’s first US customer. At the Georgia factory, 9.8 GWh batteries will be produced yearly from 2022. Ford electric trucks are also expected to be released to the market simultaneously.
SK Innovation will combine battery packs and module technology in consideration of the stability required by pickup trucks that must run through rough terrain. Especially because the backside of the truck will be the cargo loading area, SK Innovation focused on improving energy density in case there is not enough space for battery installation. The application of NCM811 (nickel, cobalt, and manganese specific gravity of 8: 1: 1) anode material is likely, which increases the one-time charge mileage.
The mixing equipment located at the front of the electrode process for producing the anode and the cathode is also provided in a large capacity. SK Innovation plans to increase the 1000 to 1300 liter mixing equipment at the current level to 2300 liters, which will allow the preparation of more battery materials within the same time frame. This is advantageous for profitability.
The U.S. market is the world's largest pickup truck market. The Ford F-Series has been the most sold car in the U.S. over the last 40 years, with over 900,000 units having been sold last year. The model accounts for more than 30% of Ford's total sales. In January of this year, Ford’s Global Market Chairman, Jim Farley officially announced his plan to market the F-150 as a weapon at the Deutsche Bank Automotive Conference held in Detroit, USA.
Some are of the opinion that SK Innovation has been selected as a partner in Ford-Volkswagen's strategic collaboration. The two companies will jointly develop and produce in the field of commercial vans and pickup trucks. These vehicles are price sensitive. For cost reduction, a competitive battery company is essential. SK Innovation has acquired a battery supply contract for Volkswagen Modular Electric Drive (MEB) through aggressive bidding.
SK Innovation's Georgia factory is the advanced base for the US electric car battery market. The factory will be expanded with an investment of approximately 1.9 trillion won by 2025. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in March this year, in which Dave Philip, Vice President of Powertrain Engineering responsible for trucks and large SUVs including the F-150 from Ford attended. Ford invested $500 million in Rivian, a US electric pickup truck company. Ford has also allocated $11 billion for electric vehicle development, prompting the battlefield of the market.