Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation announced plans to invest $5.8 billion to build two battery factories in Hardin County. The site is approximately 9 miles from Elizabethtown and is expected to employ 5,000 workers when complete.
“These are exciting times in Elizabethtown and Hardin County,” said Elizabethtown Mayor Jeff Gregory. “Any industrial investment in a community is welcome, but when that investment is $5.8 billion, that’s obviously unprecedented. We have a lot of work ahead of us relating to expanded infrastructure, emergency services, manpower, education, and housing. We are ready to meet those challenges and more.”
Kentucky workers at what will be called “BlueOvalSK Battery Park” will supply Ford’s North American assembly plants with batteries to power Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles.
Governor Andy Beshear’s office released details on the development of 1,551 acres along I-65 in the unincorporated community of Glendale. Production should begin in 2025.
During the recent special legislative session, Kentucky lawmakers passed Senate Bill 5, which gave the Cabinet for Economic Development flexibility to land up to $2 billion in new investments. Leaders informed about the Ford deal pushed for passage of the measure, although they could not legally disclose details.
The measure easily cleared both chambers.
Mayor Gregory noted how the General Assembly set aside differences to pass the legislation. “I applaud the nonpartisan effort by Governor Beshear and members of the legislature in securing a staple for the foreseeable future of the ever-evolving auto industry right here in central Kentucky,” Gregory said.
A statement from House Speaker David Osborne (R-Prospect) praised the announcement. “This is a huge win for our state, and we welcome the opportunity to grow our partnership with a proven leader like Ford. Their decision to expand their presence as part of their relationship with SK Innovation is proof that the policies crafted by the legislature are making Kentucky a better place to work and build a business.”
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell applauded the investment. “With Ford’s commitment, we have further solidified our role as a world-class automotive state on the cutting edge of research and development,” he stated. “I look forward to continuing to pursue pro-business policies in Kentucky and nationwide that will allow great American companies like Ford to continue to prosper and grow our economy.”
Governor Andy Beshear thanked Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation for choosing Kentucky. “This is the single largest investment in the history of our state,” he noted. “It will transform our economy, creating a better Kentucky with more opportunities for our families for generations. Our economy is on fire – and now, it’s electric.”