Ford battery supplier SK On remains bullish on electric vehicles despite past challenges.
In late 2023, the South Korean battery supplier forecasted that electric vehicle (EV) sales would be sluggish in 2024. Despite its predictions, SK On believes EV sales will continue to grow in the future.
“We just need to be flexible relative to the market situation for the time being. Our goal through the end of the decade, it remains strong and it remains in line with our plan,” SK On’s Chief Commercial Officer Min Sung told Bloomberg TV during CES 2024 in Las Vegas.
The Asian battery supplier’s CES 2024 exhibit perfectly encapsulates SK On’s vision for the future. SK Group built a theme park for CES 2024 to showcase its carbon-cutting technology. The theme park includes fun highlights like a fully electric dancing car capable of recharging in 20 minutes or less and a “magic carpet ride” in a self-driving vehicle.
During his interview, Sung shared that Ford and SK On’s BlueOval battery plan was delayed. He did not elaborate on the matter. However, Sung assured that SK On and Ford’s goals for the end of the decade remain the same.
“Our goal through the end of the decade remains unchanged, and it’s the same for Ford,” Sung said.
Ford and SK On’s BlueOval battery plant joint venture received a conditional commitment to provide a $9.2 billion loan from the US Department of Energy last year. The United Auto Workers (UAW) union’s President, Shawn Fain, criticized the billion-dollar loan.
The UAW president argued that the $9.2 billion loan to Ford would create low-road jobs without considering wages, working conditions, union rights, or retirement security. The UAW and its members led a strike against the Big Three automakers—General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis—in the United States in November 2023. The six-week strike ended with the UAW and the Big Three ratifying contracts with a 25% base increase for worker wages, gradual increases to top pay, and additional cost-of-living adjustments (COLA).