Go to contents

SK On to build battery plants in Turkey with Ford

Posted March. 15, 2022 08:00,   

Updated March. 15, 2022 08:00


South Korean battery maker SK On, SK Innovation’s battery split-off, is forming a joint venture with Ford Motor and Koc, the largest conglomerate in Turkey, to produce electric vehicle (EV) battery cells in Turkey. This is the first case, where a domestic battery company is creating a battery production joint venture in Europe.

SK On said on Monday that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ford and Koc to form a joint venture to produce EV battery cells. Earlier in May last year, SK On announced plans to create a joint venture plant in Tennessee and Kentucky in the U.S. with Ford. In August, Ford’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hau Thai-Tang raised expectations for a joint venture in Europe by saying the battery venture with SK will go beyond North America and extend into Europe.

Koc Holding is the largest conglomerate in Turkey with about 100 subsidiaries in various sectors, such as energy, electronics, automobile and finance. It established a joint venture “Ford Otosan” with Ford in 1959 and has maintained an annual production of 455,000 units.

The joint EV factory will be built in the Başkent Organized Industrial Zone near the Turkish capital of Ankara. The plant will produce high-nickel manganese cobalt (MMC) batteries for commercial cars as early as 2025. The factory will have an annual production capacity of 30-45 gigawatt-hours (GWh). The total investment is estimated at about 3-4 trillion won.

The partnership between SK On and Ford is expected to become stronger with the joint venture in Europe. Ford, which has announced an aggressive transition to electric vehicles, plans to secure a total of 240GWh of battery capacity by 2030. Ford has sourced 140GWh of battery capacity needed in North America from SK On, and remaining 100 GWh, which will be sourced from Europe and China, is also expected to be partially sourced from the joint EV plant in Turkey.

Do-Young Kwak now@donga.com