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Ford announces a series of deals to accelerate the advancement of electric vehicles

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Ford CEO Jim Farley attends the official launch of the all-new Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, USA on April 26, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

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DETROIT, July 21 (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co (FN) on Thursday announced a series of deals aimed at accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, including the purchase of batteries and raw materials from companies such as Chinese battery maker CATL (300750.SZ) and Australian mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO.AX).

The deals are part of Ford’s push to reach 600,000 annual global electric vehicle production by the end of 2023 and more than 2 million by the end of 2026. more than double the industry’s predicted growth rate.

“We are implementing an industrial system for rapid scaling,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.

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In March, Ford increased its planned EV spending through 2026 to $50 billion from a previous target of $30 billion and reorganized its operations into separate electric and gasoline-powered vehicle divisions, with the Ford Model e and Ford Blue, respectively. read more

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company also said at the time that its electric vehicle business would not be profitable until next-generation models began production in 2025.

As part of its drive to increase power, Ford said it is adding lithium iron phosphate (LFP)-based EV battery chemistries to its portfolio, along with nickel-cobalt manganese (NCM). Ford said it had provided all of the 60 gigawatt hours (GWh) of cell capacity needed to support 600,000 operating hours.

The American automaker said CATL will supply complete LFP battery packs for Mustang Mach-E crossovers for North America starting next year, as well as for F-150 Lightning pickups in early 2024.

The company is also partnering with LG Energy Solution and its longtime battery partner SK Innovation.(096770.KS)

Ford said it has now received about 70% of the battery capacity needed to achieve annual production of more than 2 million by the end of 2026.

To support battery cell deals, Ford said it is also purchasing raw material for battery cells directly, announcing deals to acquire most of the nickel required through 2026 and beyond through agreements with Vale SA’s Canadian and Indonesian divisions, China’s Huayou Cobalt (603799 . ss) and BHP.

The company also entered into lithium contracts under agreements with Rio Tinto while exploring a “significant” deal to supply lithium from mining company Rincon’s project in Argentina, Ford said. It is part of a multi-metal agreement that is leveraging Rio Tinto’s aluminum business and includes copper potential.

Ford has announced other battery material deals. He signed a letter of intent with EcoPro BM and SK On to set up a cathode plant in North America, a procurement agreement for Ioneer Ltd (INR.AX) to supply lithium carbonate from Nevada after 2025, an agreement with Compass Minerals for lithium hydroxide. and lithium carbonate from Utah, and an agreement between Syrah Resources (SYR.AX) and SK On for natural graphite from Louisiana.

Achieving 600,000 EV miles by the end of 2023 includes 270,000 Mustang Mach-E crossovers, 150,000 F-150 Lightning pickups, 150,000 Transit vans and 30,000 units of the new SUV for Europe, with production ramping up significantly in 2024.

(This article corrected the mention of Rio Tinto’s aluminum business rather than Ford’s in paragraph 11)

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Reporting by Ben Kleiman in Detroit; Editing by Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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