Ford has resumed construction of its EV battery park in Marshall, Michigan, but on a smaller scale, the company announced Tuesday.
The announcement comes about two months after the automaking titan paused construction and decided to limit spending on the Marshall site. At the time, a spokesman said there were “a number of considerations” behind the decision.
Since then, Ford has reevaluated the plan to ensure the automaker could operate the plant economically, T.R. Reid, director of Ford’s corporate and public policy communications, told Manufacturing Dive.
Those considerations include labor costs and government incentive programs, Reid said.
But the primary consideration is the growth rate in customers buying EVs, Reid said. While Ford’s EV sales are up 44% year over year in Q3, the EV adoption rate is not happening as fast as companies including General Motors previously anticipated. Thus, Ford is adjusting accordingly, Reid said.
“We’re bullish on EVs,” Reid said. “Demand continues to grow strongly, albeit at a rate lower than planned.”
Everything will be scaled down, including the initial planned $3.5 billion investment, which Reid said Ford is still doing the math on.
Instead of the previously announced 2,500 jobs and the annual 35 gigawatt hours of battery capacity, the upcoming Marshall plant will create 1,700 jobs and produce a yearly battery capacity of 20 GWh.
The company made enough changes to operate the plant economically but with the same timetable. The automaker still expects the Marshall plant to begin producing lithium iron phosphate batteries in 2026.
The Marshall EV battery plant was not the only Ford site to pause construction. The automaker delayed the construction of one of its Kentucky battery plants last month.