The site, which encompasses 6 square miles, will house an assembly plant to build the next-generation electric F-Series on a dedicated EV architecture, unlike the Lightning's modified internal-combustion platform. Executives say the plant, Ford's first new assembly plant on undeveloped land since Kentucky Truck opened in 1969, will be carbon-neutral and have the potential to use geothermal, solar and wind power.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said the state will build a trade school on the campus to train the 6,000 workers who will be employed there.
Ford will build the batteries to power the truck on the same site. Blue Oval City also will have space for Redwood Materials, a battery recycling company Ford partnered with last month, to turn production waste and old batteries into new materials.
"This is intended to be an incredibly efficient ecosystem," Ford North America COO Lisa Drake told Automotive News. "It doesn't matter much if you build an EV if you're not as conscious about how you're building it. The whole site layout and environment is just as important as the product we're building."
In Kentucky, Ford plans to build twin battery plants as part of a joint venture with Korean battery maker SK Innovation. Both plants will supply batteries for multiple vehicles and are near multiple Ford assembly plants.
Farley told CNBC last week that it was important for the company to in-source battery production to avoid issues such as the global semiconductor shortage.
"We have to learn how to manufacture them in this country," he said. "We can no longer import raw materials from halfway around the world."
All told, Ford is committing $7 billion toward the Kentucky and Tennessee projects, with $4.4 billion coming from SK.