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Ford Accelerates Battery R&D

Autosphere » Dealerships » Ford Accelerates Battery R&D
The Battery facility at Allen Park. PHOTO Ford

Ford has announced a new global battery centre — called Ford Ion Park—dedicated to research and development of battery and battery cell technology, including future battery manufacturing.

“Investing in more battery R&D ultimately will help us speed the process to deliver more, even better, lower cost EVs for customers over time,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer.

The company is centralizing a cross-functional team of 150 experts in battery technology development, research, manufacturing, planning, purchasing, quality and finance to help Ford develop and manufacture battery cells and batteries.

The team also is exploring integration and innovation opportunities across all aspects of the value chain – from mines to recycling – working with all teams within Ford, including experts at Ford’s new Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory, Ford Customer Service Division, plus key suppliers and partners.

This learning lab will include pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell and array design and manufacturing and will use technology to pilot new manufacturing techniques.

Anand Sankaran will lead the Ford Ion Park team as its new Director with decades of battery and electrification expertise.

He also holds 32 U.S. patents in automotive power electronics and hybrid vehicle technologies and is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

New lab supports Ford Ion Park development work

Ford’s new Battery Benchmarking and Test Lab will help test and identify the right battery cells and chemistries to power Ford’s EV lineup to meet different customers’ needs.

“While some automakers have placed their bets, we are going to use this lab with the help of partners and suppliers to fine-tune our batteries to our vehicles and customer needs—exploring next-generation lithium ion solutions, including solid-state batteries,” Sankaran said.

The lab houses battery cell and pack test rooms, test benches and benchmarking facilities to support battery cell design validation, controls calibration, pack development and pilot battery pack projects with different chemistries.

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