SK On, EcoProBM, and Ford have announced a substantial investment of C$1.2 billion to establish a new cathode manufacturing facility. This facility will play a pivotal role in supplying batteries for Ford's forthcoming electric vehicles, including the Ford F-150 Lightning.
The collaborative endeavor aims to contribute to the mass production of electric vehicles while optimizing their performance and extending their range. The facility, slated to commence production in the first half of 2026, boasts the impressive capacity to manufacture up to 45,000 tonnes of cathode active materials annually, a crucial component in enhancing battery efficiency.
A Keystone Investment in Québec
This strategic partnership marks a milestone for Ford as it marks its first-ever investment in Québec.
Bev Goodman, President, and CEO of Ford of Canada, emphasizes the significance of this venture, stating, "We’re excited for the opportunity for our first-ever investment in Québec with a new facility that will help shape the EV ecosystem there."
EcoPro CAM Canada LP, the manufacturing arm of EcoProBM, will lead the production of cathode active materials, specifically high-quality Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) compounds. These advanced materials are designed to unlock higher performance levels and extended electric vehicle range compared to conventional products.
Notably, this advancement can be attributed to EcoPro's core shell gradient (CSG) technology, underscoring the commitment to pushing the boundaries of EV capabilities.
An Ecosystem of Growth and Innovation
The sprawling construction site spans over 280,000 square meters and is home to a six-floor building. This infrastructure will generate approximately 345 new jobs, spanning from engineers and sales professionals to co-op positions for local students, fostering innovation and expertise within the local community.
Additionally, EcoPro CAM Canada LP will channel its efforts into research and development initiatives aimed at enhancing battery safety, performance, and eco-friendliness.
The partnership demonstrates SK On's dedication to securing a reliable supply of vital battery materials within North America. This aligns seamlessly with SK On's overarching mission to be at the forefront of the region's electric vehicle transition. With six battery plants in operation or under construction in North America, SK On aims to reach an annual production capacity exceeding 180 GWh after 2025.
Global Expansion and Sustainability
For EcoProBM, the joint venture signals a significant expansion into the North American market. This venture comes on the heels of their entry into Hungary, cementing their global presence and commitment to shaping the future of electric mobility.
The Québec facility will be instrumental in producing 45,000 tonnes of cathode materials, effectively supporting the annual production of up to 225,000 electric vehicles. This achievement builds upon EcoProBM's holistic approach to battery materials, from recycling waste batteries to producing essential components like lithium, precursors, and cathode materials.
Government Support Paves the Way
The governments of Canada and Québec have played a pivotal role in facilitating this strategic partnership.
Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, underscores the significance of the investment, stating, "This investment once again shows that Canada is the green strategic partner of choice for world leaders in the automobile industry." This collaboration resonates with Québec's vision of becoming a leader in the green economy and making a tangible impact on global GHG emissions.
With this investment, SK On, EcoProBM, and Ford are propelling the evolution of electric vehicles in the work truck sector, shaping the future of sustainable transportation and energizing fleets for the challenges ahead.