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Youngkin says Virginia won’t seek Ford battery plant

Gov. Gleen Youngkin Speaks at a podium with microphones
Crixell Matthews
VPM News
Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks at an October economic development announcement. Youngkin announced Wednesday that the state won't compete for a new Ford battery plant.

Youngkin, speaking to reporters following his State of the Commonwealth address, said President Joe Biden’s administration’s “maniacal” focus on transitioning to green energy needed to take Chinese companies into consideration.

“The reality is that the technology that, in fact, drives all of that [green energy infrastructure] is owned and dominated by the Chinese,” he said. “While we recognize that we want to make progress on all of these fronts, we also have to recognize the national security implications of outsourcing all of our technology.”

Ford wants to build up its battery capacity in North America starting in 2026, Ford spokesperson Hannah Ooms said in an email. Ford had also announced a separate memorandum of understanding with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd, a Chinese company, to “explore supplying batteries” for Ford.

Currently, Ford does not have any manufacturing facilities in Virginia.

A spokesperson for Youngkin did not clarify his remarks or how Virginia removed itself from planning a plant in Virginia. The spokesperson referred VPM News back to the governor’s comments to reporters in a Q&A after his speech.

In December, conservative news outlet the Daily Caller wrote an article saying Youngkin directed the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, which encourages and assists companies in coming or expanding in Virginia, to remove the state from consideration for the project citing an anonymous source.

Bloomberg reported in December that Michigan is also in the running for the facility.

A spokesperson for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership also declined to comment. Suzanne Clark said VEDP does not comment on announced projects for competitive reasons and to protect confidentiality.

Dawnthea Price Lisco contributed reporting.

Jahd Khalil covers Virginia state politics for VPM News.
Dawnthea M. Price Lisco (dawn-TAY-uh, she/her) is the managing editor at VPM News.
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