Skip to comments.Virginia Rejects $3.5-Billion Ford Plant Over Fears of Communist Chinese Control
Posted on 01/18/2023 12:41:57 PM PST by taildragger
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin told Ford to take its plan to build a massive, 2,500-job EV battery plant in the state and shove it, all because Ford’s partner in the project is a Chinese battery manufacturer—the largest such manufacturer in the world.
(Excerpt) Read more at jalopnik.com ...
A confused Detroit News reached out to Youngkin’s office for comment:
“While Ford is an iconic American company, it became clear that this proposal would serve as a front for the Chinese Communist party, which could compromise our economic security and Virginians’ personal privacy,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement to The Detroit News.
“Virginians can be confident that companies with known ties to the Chinese Communist Party won’t receive a leg up from the Commonwealth’s economic incentive packages,” she added. “When the potentially damaging effects of the deal were realized, the plant proposal never reached a final discussion stage.”
I’m sure that newfound confidence will help the folks around Berry Hill pay their bills, as the location has no new tenant. Ford is the second-largest EV builder in the U.S., after Tesla, and the Blue Oval is focusing on a strategy of building its own batteries as the automaker transitions to EVs.
The late December decision came just as DeSantis demanded the Republican legislature in Florida ban China from purchasing real estate — especially farmland — in the Sunshine State. Youngkin, who fancies himself in the running against DeSantis for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, followed suit. That’s despite China owning less than one percent of agricultural tracts in the U.S., the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
At least those policies didn’t directly hurt the people of Virginia or Florida. Rejecting thousands of new jobs with a storied American car manufacturer, slated for an economically depressed community, sure does impact Youngkin’s constituents.
Democrats in the state were predictably critical of the move. From the Times-Dispatch:
“During his campaign, the Governor made a promise to bring economic development and manufacturing jobs to our communities that are struggling — especially in rural Virginia — to attract industries that offer competitive wages,” wrote Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, D-Chesterfield, in an email on Monday. “The Governor’s decision to pull Virginia out of the competition for the new Ford facility puts the Commonwealth at a severe disadvantage.”
Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, said in an interview that “to deny [people in the community] jobs because you’re in last place in Republican presidential primaries [is] gubernatorial malpractice.”
“I mean, this is clearly just obvious to me that the governor’s in some kind of out-China-bashing-contest with [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis and Governor Greg Abbott out of Texas,” he added.
It’s not clear what will happen to the site, or the millions of dollars Ford already invested in preparing Berry Hill for a battery plant. Luckily, there are plenty of places that would welcome that kind of investment. Michigan, for one, is predictably thirsty for this new EV battery plant. There are several locations in the company’s home state on the short list of places to build the giant battery facility — areas that are just as strapped for good blue-collar jobs as Berry Hill, including Mundy Township in Genesee County, Michigan. Ford is also building three battery plants in the American south as it is; two in Kentucky and one in Tennessee. The plant near Memphis, Tennessee will be the largest in the automaker’s history, according to Ford.
Florida and Virginia aren’t the only states using the people’s work to score pointless political wins. Wyoming Republicans tried to put up a resolution banning the sale of EVs in the state after 2035. It died pretty much immediately in committee, as lawmakers figured the purely symbolic resolution would.
Sure would like to get Smithfield back into American hands.
The necessity for EV is a big lie. I don’t mind a free-economy, demand-based drive for EV, but it’s unfortunately been politicized in the worst of ways.
Thats a tough decision when jobs were on the line. But EV’s are a niche market being pushed to look like a national imperative. It will probably cost Youngkin votes, but kind of glad to see his reasoning.
The Tenor of this article is not my cup of tea.
This CATL battery utilizes a Patented "one cell" for lack of a better term packaging technology which could give the F150 EV a potential range on one charge of 620 miles.
With as much as 60% of the batteries coming from China, do we want to outsource this to them, especially for the US's flag ship Pickup?
A tangent question is shall we assume Ford is still committed to their Solid State Battery Partner Solid Power and their efforts to increase range, reduce charge times, and weight with their technology.
The trouble is, China likely has control over a majority of minerals needed to make batteries. Not just in their own country, but now in Afghanistan and much of Africa. It’s going to be hard to pull it off without them.
Which raises a whole bunch of other questions about the politicians who have been pushing EV mandates knowing China holds the handle on the spigot. Maybe this is Younkin trying to bring the subject to light.
And the Lithium Triangle in South America, in the last month a 700 million dollar deal, no one on our side has said a word
Tesla’s ten million square foot Giga Factory in Texas might have some space available.
The U.S. actually has a lot of rare earth materials. Regulations and lawsuits make it less profitable to get them.
Sweden has recently discovered plenty:
China is one of the few sources, it doesn’t have to remain that way.
Good. Scott Surovell is a Dem and is all I’m on climate change.
Good for Youngkin!
Good for Youngkin!
Youngkin is right to kill this deal if only on the grounds that it benefits the Chinese and the CCP. There are probably better reasons.
When the EV fad is over and the market for these vehicles crashes headlong into the unsolvable issues of Newtonian physics that confront EV’s, I hope people will remember that Youngkin saw past the short-term benefits and saw the long-term danger in such a state/private partnership.
One more thing Monkeyshine.
We have plenty of Lithium. In North Carolina, Arkansas, California and Nevada. The Arkansas and CA stores are the Brine and an up and coming tech DLE could make it cost effective.
Alaska is full of rare earths. We don't need the Nickel or Cobalt in the batteries other chemistry's are here, not as energy dense but the work and are fire-runaway proof. Better ones (Lithium Sulfur Iron) are being discussed.
It just takes the balls to extract this stuff, we are so gelded, time to stop globalizing with the freaking ChiComs.
The Lithium, Rare Earth and Uranium Supply chains, guess who had Senate Committees looking into solutions?
U-huh, PDJT. He knew....
Dr, with their homegrown battery manufacture Northvolt, correct?
Who are partnering with CuBerg For a Solid State Battery for EVTOL's" with impressive numbers, 380 wt/kg and energy density of 3000....
ALL the EV mandates (that X% be achieved by a any year certain) are impossible to achieve without greatly benefitting the CCP.
I’m going to guess that Youngkin didn’t want an environmental boondoggle in the state.
If you know someone who is considering the purchase of an EV, remind them that the big, expensive battery in an EV is dependent on rare earth materials much of which come from Chinese owned sources. And as our relationship with China deteriorates, that big expensive battery will become even more expensive and hard to get. It may come to pass that you won’t be able to get a battery at all.
If that happens you may fine yourself gazing whimsically at your $60,000 paper-weight parked in the driveway. And while your functionally worthless paper-weight sits, the bank will insist that you still make the payments on it as will your car insurance provider.
Talk about throwing money into a toilet ...
I see an EV as a useful tool for running around town for errands. For me it would be a 4th vehicle.
I hope to purchase one once the public has been educated and they are selling for pennies on the dollar.
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