New Ford lab for EV battery development to set up shop in Romulus

Automaker chooses Romulus for battery research and development center Ford Ion Park

FILE - In this April 27, 2021 file photo, an American flag flies over a Ford auto dealership, in Waukee, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File) (Charlie Neibergall, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ROMULUS, Mich.Ford Motor Company is planting its new battery research and development center in the Metro Detroit city of Romulus, officials announced Tuesday.

The company’s new Ford Ion Park, which will reportedly serve as a hub for research and development of battery and battery cell technology, is officially set to be based in Romulus. The park will help “develop and manufacture lithium ion and solid-state battery cells and arrays to accelerate our electrification efforts,” a press release reads Tuesday.

The news comes after the company has made a commitment to ramp up the production of electric vehicles. The automaker announced in May that it expects 40% of its global sales to be battery-electric vehicles by 2030.

“Ford already is delivering on our plan to lead the electric revolution with strong new vehicles including Mustang Mach-E, 2022 E-Transit available late 2021 and the 2022 F-150 Lightning available from spring next year,” said Anand Sankaran, Ford Ion Park director. “The new lab will help Ford speed up the battery development process to deliver even more capable, affordable batteries and is part of Ford’s renewed commitment to making Michigan a centerpiece of its focus on EVs.”

Ion Park, deemed a collaborative learning lab, is set to open sometime in 2022. Officials say the investment into the park -- and, more specifically, into researching vehicle battery cells and cell arrays -- is part of the automaker’s $30 billion investment into electrification.

More: Ford raising EV spending to $30 billion, aims for 40% of fleet electric by 2030

“Ford’s investment in battery research and development in Romulus will support hundreds of good-paying jobs, attract innovative talent to Michigan, and help us continue leading the world in advanced mobility and manufacturing,” said Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Ford is an American icon that has left its mark on the world over a century, and with the research that will take place at Ford Ion Park, they will shape the next century while reducing emissions and accelerating electrification.”

The company says it is refurbishing an existing facility to house the park, its engineers and equipment for design and manufacturing engineering.

Related: GM, Ford outdo each other with electric vehicle investments

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.