Construction of Ford’s the sprawling new Blue Oval City electric vehicle manufacturing campus in West Tennessee is well underway, and today it was announced their next-generation Ford EV pickup code named “T3” will be the first vehicle built there starting in 2025.
The manufacturing campus and the new line of electric vehicles and batteries that will be built at Blue Oval City are being called “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionize America’s truck”.
On scale both in size and historical significance with the Ford Rouge Plant in Dearborn built over 100 years ago, Blue Oval City will be capable of producing 500,000 electric Ford and Lincoln vehicles a year at full tilt.
The new 3,600-acre site encompasses some 6-square-miles and represents a $5.6 billion dollar investment that will bring over 6,000 high quality jobs to the area of Stanton, TN. Notably, Ford is not only growing a new manufacturing city, but people to work there.
A massive investment in local education called BlueOval Learning begins with K-12 STEM programs, funding for technical education at local high-schools and community colleges, and a range of targeted technical training programs all to fill 6,000 new jobs. From a community and prosperity standpoint, Blue Oval City is the beginning of a new era for thousands of families in West Tennessee.
The plant itself will be much like the original Rouge Complex, vertically integrated with a high production battery plant on site called BlueOvalSK, a partnership with Ford and SK on where batteries will be built and pushed directly into new trucks within 30 minutes.
The campus will also have a supplier park where many of the outside parts and components for the new trucks will be built on site. Because the new facility will be carbon neutral, it features its own clean power network, will use zero ground water and will have zero waste to landfill from the production of vehicles
As mentioned, the first new vehicle of many to be produced at the plant will be an all-new second-generation electric pickup truck that Ford intends to bring EV to scale for the masses and promises it will be revolutionary.
We don’t know much about it other than Ford is calling it “T3” internally which means Trust The Truck by its development team. Jim Farley today at the presser stated that it will be far less complex and more efficient to manufacture than anything built today, offering a fraction of the build combinations of the current F-150 Lighting.
Up-fitters will be on campus to install popular features before the trucks even ship out like spray-in bed-liners, tonneau covers, integrated tool boxes and other accessories that currently cause delays and bottlenecks in production.
It will have continuously updated software to allow the truck to improve over time, will be able to export its power to a job site or even to a home and most importantly will be fast, quiet, and smooth in its performance.
Giving some hint to the revolutionary design and form of the new T3, Farley said, “PJ O’Rourke once described American pickups as ‘a back porch with an engine attached.’ Well, this new truck is going to be like the Millennium Falcon – with a back porch attached,”
Other than that Ford has been very tight lipped about what the T3 will be. Will it be body on frame like the Lightning? Will it be full size, mid-size or compact? The reality is that it could be a family of new trucks that range in size and scope, all based on a new EV platform that is scaleable.
A silhouette was teased at an event some time back that suggests Ford is leaning toward a monocoque body and frame structure much like that of the new Chevrolet Silverado EV and its family. As a method of construction for an EV, it’s simpler, lighter, cheaper and allows more flexibility for powertrain options and battery size. Just my gut feeling. Time will tell.
We will find out pretty soon as production is slated to start in just two years in 2025. That means at some point we’ll be seeing spy photos, getting more teasers and eventually the reveal.