Back in September, we wrote about Ford’s plans for BlueOval City, its largest ever production facility, meant to propel them into the EV future. We also covered the company’s plans to go beyond the fences of its facility to do more to help make a true community around BlueOval City in West Tennessee. Now, we’re starting to see what will come out of the assembly lines.
Ford’s electric vehicle and battery manufacturing campus in West Tennessee is set to begin production in 2025. The facility will be home to Ford’s second-generation electric truck, code named Project T3. It will be capable of producing up to 500,000 electric trucks each year when running at full capacity. This will make it one of the largest such production sites in the world, further cementing Ford’s commitment to the burgeoning electric vehicle market.
“BlueOval City is the blueprint for Ford’s electric future around the world,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chair. “We will build revolutionary electric vehicles at an advanced manufacturing site that works in harmony with the planet, aligning business growth and innovation with environmental progress.”
Ford and its partner, SK On, are investing $5.6 billion in the campus and creating an estimated 6,000 jobs. To ensure successful employments, Ford has launched a comprehensive education and training program known as BlueOval Learning. This facility is also intended to become the first carbon-neutral vehicle manufacturing and battery campus of Ford’s worldwide portfolio — with plans to power all factories relying on renewable and carbon-free electricity by 2035.
“Project T3 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionize America’s truck. We are melding 100 years of Ford truck know-how with world-class electric vehicle, software and aerodynamics talent. It will be a platform for endless innovation and capability,” commented Ford President and CEO Jim Farley.
“PJ O’Rourke once described American pickups as ‘a back porch with an engine attached.’ Well, this new truck is going to be like the Millennium Falcon – with a back porch attached,” he added. “The manufacturing process will be equally breakthrough, with radical simplicity, cost efficiency and quality technology that will make BlueOval City the modern-day equivalent of Henry Ford’s Rouge factory. A factory of the future that people from all over the world will want to tour.”
BlueOval City is a vital part of Ford’s plan to make electric vehicles more readily available and lower their cost — Ford is aiming to hit a production rate of 2 million EV units around the world by late 2026.
What’s Project T3?
Knowing that plans for the factory and related spending are on track is great, but what’s probably the bigger announcement today is that Ford’s building a new electric truck, which it’s calling “Project T3.” Ford’s Project T3, known as “Trust The Truck,” strives to build a truck that customers can put their trust in. Its development team is guided by one unique principle: to create a vehicle that is continuously updated and improved while supporting multiple capabilities, including hauling, towing, exportable power, and even more new innovations. Ultimately, the goal of Project T3 is to revolutionize the way we operate vehicles in this digital age.
Sadly, it’s too soon in the process for Ford to give us any further details. We just have a teaser video to give us some clues:
It’s clear that Ford intends it to be more connected and more capable of driverless operation than today’s Ford trucks. It also seems that the company is aiming to make more of a departure from the gas offerings than the F-150 Lightning is.
Most Of The T3 News Ford’s Sharing Is About Assembly Efficiency
While details on the truck are almost nothing, Ford is quite proud of the factory and did share some details on it.
Ford is introducing an all-new assembly plant designed specifically for its second-generation electric truck. This will allow for a variety of benefits such as a 30% smaller overall footprint compared to traditional plants, while still offering higher production capacity and never-before-seen levels of efficiency.
Ford’s all-new assembly plant is taking sustainability to the next level, as it will be powered by carbon-free electricity from the day it opens. Additionally, the automaker is utilizing an innovative energy recovery system to generate carbon-free heat. This has allowed the company to save about 300 million cubic feet of natural gas which would typically be used for heating similarly sized vehicle assembly plants over a year.
BlueOval City includes a utility system with water evaporation reduction, zero waste to landfill, and a separate stormwater management system to protect the local environment. The 3,600-acre campus also features Ford’s (and SK On’s) own battery manufacturing site where it is able to build and assemble battery cells in less than 30 minutes, which will be delivered directly into the assembly plant onsite.
BlueOval City is taking its efforts to improve sustainability even further, with an on-site supplier park and upfit center. Here customers will be able to choose from dozens of Ford trucks’ most popular features, such as spray-in bedliners and integrated toolboxes. The city also has an onsite Lowe’s store providing building materials and two construction equipment rental companies — which aim to reduce traffic congestion and emissions. Moreover, the campus features three concrete batch plants for added convenience.
With all of this put together, Ford’s clearly working to upend assumptions about vehicle production that have often led to higher emissions. Keeping suppliers close by, along with other environmental measures, keeps things a lot cleaner.
In The Community
In addition to a sustainable plant and the community efforts we’ve shared before, Ford is also investing more in education for the region. With a dedicated training facility, STEM program supports, manufacturing education in high schools, and more, Ford’s aiming to empower the local workforce to be well and build EVs instead of assuming people from somewhere else will come and work.
Between these efforts and those to improve the environmental footprint of the plant, it’s pretty clear that Ford is taking a responsible approach to EV production instead of just hoping we’ll think it’s good enough because the legacy automaker is now building EVs. That’s definitely something we should appreciate.
All image provided by Ford.
Retweet our questions for Ford to get them more attention (Ford is great about answering questions, though, and is likely to respond):
Questions for @Ford @jimfarley98:
Are there plans for more "BlueOval City type" campuses in other parts of the US or the world?
Will the real name of Project T3 be Ford Super Duty Thunder?
On that 2nd question, if so, can you get @Imaginedragons to perform at the unveiling?
— CleanTechnica (@cleantechnica) March 25, 2023
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