Ford Motor Co. is increasing its presence the development of solid-state vehicle battery technology, taking a larger equity stake in the Solid Power venture it first entered in 2019. With an additional $130 million investment, Ford is now an equal equity stakeholder with BMW Group.
Solid Power produces sulfide-based solid-state battery cells which are described as lighter than lithium-ion batteries, with greater energy density that results in greater EV range at a lower cost. They would be produced using the established lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure, according to Ford.
This investment follows Ford’s announcement last week that it plans to establish a $185-million R&D center called "Ford Ion Park" in southeast Michigan, to develop lower-cost and faster production methods for solid-state batteries.
Reportedly, Ford hopes eventually to build enough EV batteries for its forthcoming series of electric vehicles, including the electric F-150 and the Mustang Mach-E.
Ford is said to be planning an integrated production model for EV batteries as a strategy for ensuring battery supplies and controlling vehicles costs. Ford chief product platform and operations officer Hau Thai-Tang told CNBC that the automaker will manufacture its own batteries once it has reached a scale of EV production scale to justify the expansion, which he forecast could happen by 2025.
Thai-Tang further said the projected battery plant could produce lithium-ion batteries (the current standard) as well as solid-state batteries of the type in development by the Solid Power venture.