Ford’s new Tennessee plant aims to build 500,000 electric trucks a year

STANTON, Tennessee, March 24 (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co (F.N) plans to build up to 500,000 electric trucks a year at its BlueOval City complex under construction in western Tennessee, the automaker said on Friday.

BlueOval City will assemble several versions of Ford’s next-generation F-series electric pickup, which the company calls Project T3.

In an event Friday at the plant, Ford CEO Jim Farley said production will begin “in roughly 30 months” — the fall of 2025.

The Stanton plant northeast of Memphis is part of Ford’s plan to have global EV production capacity of 2 million vehicles a year in place by the end of 2026.

A video shown at the event described the new electric pickup as “the sequel to the F150 Lightning” that is currently built near Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, and is based on the standard combustion-engine F-series pickups.

Ford said BlueOval City will have a general assembly footprint that is 30% smaller than that of a traditional assembly plant, with a higher production capacity. Most current auto plants are designed to build 250,000-300,000 vehicles a year.

Tesla (TSLA.O) this month said its future electric vehicle plants will be up to 40% smaller than traditional plants.

Ford’s Project T3 pickup is being developed on a new dedicated EV truck architecture.

Suppliers have said that new platform, which carries the internal designation TE1, will also underpin full-size electric SUVs in 2026 that could supplement or replace the current Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

The $5.6 billion BlueOval City complex, which is being jointly developed with Korean partner SK On, also will have a battery plant capable of producing more than 40 gigawatt-hours worth of cells — enough supply up to half a million EVs a year.

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by David Gregorio