Ford partners with Battery Maker SK Innovation in $ 11 billion deal

Ford has announced its commitment to its range of electric vehicles as part of an $ 11 billion partnership with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation. The deal focuses on Ford’s growing line of electric pickup trucks as it strives to convert popular F-Series trucks to battery power, the Financial Times reported.

The deal includes building four factories in Tennessee and Kentucky that would supply the vehicles and batteries and is the largest investment Ford has ever made for manufacturing facilities. Ford’s share of the deal, $ 7 billion, is just under a quarter of the total of $ 30 billion it has pledged to spend on its fleet transition to electric by 2025 .

Ford is one of the major vehicle manufacturers in the United States that last month pledged with Biden to convert between 40% and 50% of their fleets to zero emissions by 2030. Ford’s chief operating officer for North America, Lisa Drake, estimates that about a third of all pickup truck sales in the industry as a whole will then be electric.

“This is a really pivotal time for us in our country today,” said Drake. “We see critical mass for the transition to battery electric vehicles on the horizon.”

The money allocated by the agreement with SK Innovation would be split between two battery factories in Kentucky, then an assembly plant in Tennessee. The assembly plant would be a “mega-campus” measuring six square miles and would house battery recycling operations and suppliers, as well as a factory to build an electric fleet of F-Series trucks.

The new campus, dubbed the Blue Oval City, is expected to begin production in 2025 and, with 15,000 reservations already scheduled for the F-150 Lightning and still growing demand, will be a busy hub for Ford’s future.

Ford is following the same path as rival automaker GM, which is working on converting three of its existing factories to make electric versions of its vehicles. GM has pledged to spend $ 35 billion by 2025 to electrify its fleet and plans to open its own battery factories in Tennessee and Ohio.

KARS invests in Ford and the electric vehicle industry

The ETF KraneShares Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility (NYSE: KARS) invests in Ford and many world leaders in the electric vehicle industry, including some in China, where the electric vehicle industry is booming.

KARS measures the performance of the Bloomberg Electric Vehicle Index, which tracks the industry globally, including exposure to electric vehicle manufacturers, electric vehicle components, batteries, hydrogen fuel cells and raw materials used in the synthesis of the production of parts for electric vehicles.

The index has strict qualification criteria. Companies must be part of the Bloomberg World Equity Aggregate Index, have a minimum free float market capitalization of $ 500 million, and have a 90-day average daily traded value of $ 5 million.

Ford (F) is one of KARS ‘top 10 holdings with 2.66% by weight, along with Tesla Inc with 5.61% and General Motors (GM) with 5.12%.

The ETF has an expense ratio of 0.70%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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