On Monday, Ford announced that it paused construction of its electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Marshall, Michigan.
“We’re pausing work, and we’re going to limit spending on construction at Marshall until we’re confident about our ability to competitively run the plant,” Ford spokesman T.R. Reid told The Detroit News. “We haven’t made a final decision about the investment here.”
Ford planned to invest nearly $3.5 billion in the EV battery plant in Marshall. The legacy automaker secured $210 million in direct tax incentives and a 15-year property tax abatement worth about $775 million.
Reid added that a “number of considerations” led to Ford’s decision. He did not mention the factors that led to the construction pause of Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan. However, Ford has a lot on its plate right now.
BlueOval Battery Park Michigan is a 2.5 million sq.ft facility wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford. The EV battery plant would employ 2,500 people with wages starting at $20 and going as high as $50 per hour.
Reid did not mention a correlation between the Michigan battery park’s construction pause and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union negotiations. However, talks with the UAW have affected Ford’s other facilities in Michigan. UAW employees from Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne walked off the line. On Tuesday, President Biden will travel to Michigan to show his support for the UAW strike at the Wayne facility.
The UAW may be the least of Ford’s current concerns, especially regarding the EV battery plant in Marshall. Ford planned to license China-based supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) for the EV battery plant in Michigan. The partnership between Ford and CATL has raised concerns in the United States Congress.
Based on a letter to Ford CEO Jim Farley from Representative Jason Smith, The U.S. Department of Energy wants to avoid taxpayer dollars from flowing into China. Smith has also written to Elon Musk about Tesla’s involvement with CATL.