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Ford, SK to build battery factory in Turkey

By Kim Hye-ran & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
This electric vehicle battery factory is being constructed in Georgia. Ford and GM plan to build a total of three EV battery plants in the United States and one in Turkey to meet the rising EV demand. Photo courtesy of SK On
This electric vehicle battery factory is being constructed in Georgia. Ford and GM plan to build a total of three EV battery plants in the United States and one in Turkey to meet the rising EV demand. Photo courtesy of SK On

SEOUL, March 15 (UPI) -- South Korea's SK On announced a partnership with U.S. automaker Ford Motor to build a battery factory for the European market in Turkey.

The two corporations signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding, establishing a three-way joint venture.

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The battery plant, to be located near Ankara, will have an annual capacity of 30-45 gigawatt hours (GWh) by mid-decade, SK On said Monday. The company did not disclose the amount of investment.

The batteries are expected to be used for commercial vehicles bound for Europe. Ford has been a leader in the European commercial car market for the past several years.

SK On has teamed up with Ford in other countries like the United States, where the two partners are scheduled to build three battery plants for electric cars.

Toward that end, they announced a plan last year to spend more than $11 billion through their joint venture, BlueOval SK.

SK's cross-city rival LG Energy Solution is working with Ford's competitor General Motors to build multiple battery factories in the United States.

Koc Holding, whose business ranges from finance to automobiles, is also a long-time partner of Ford. It has an annual production capacity of about a half-million vehicles.

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"Currently, the European EV market is bigger than that of the U.S., even though the latter is quickly catching up with the former. Hence, Ford and SK On are keeping their eyes on Europe," Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo told UPI News Korea.

"In that vein, GM may set up a new battery factory near Europe with LG Energy Solution. The battery rivalry will take place across the globe," he said.

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