Ford secures batteries to produce 600,000 electric vehicles per year and closes agreements for other raw materials

Ford secures batteries to produce 600,000 electric vehicles per year and closes agreements for other raw materials

The automaker expects to be producing more than two million electric vehicles per year by 2026.
The automaker expects to be producing more than two million electric vehicles per year by 2026.

Ford Motor on Thursday announced a series of deals to accelerate its shift to electric vehicles, including sourcing batteries for 600,000 new vehicles a year and raw materials from the likes of Chinese battery maker CATL and Australian mining giant Rio Tinto.

The deals are part of Ford’s effort to bring its annual electric vehicle production rate to 600,000 cars by the end of 2023 and more than 2 million by the end of 2026.

Ford said it expects the annual growth rate for electric vehicles to top 90% through 2026, more than double the industry forecast.

In March, Ford increased its planned spending on electric vehicles through 2026 to $50 billion, up from its previous goal of $30 billion, and reorganized its operations into separate units focused on electric and gasoline vehicles, with the aim of Ford Model e and Ford Blue, respectively.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company also said at the time that its electric vehicle business would not be profitable until next-generation models go into production in 2025.
As part of its push to increase capacity, Ford said it is adding lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell chemistry for electric vehicle batteries to its portfolio, along with nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM).

Ford said it has secured the 60 gigawatt hours (GWh) of cell capacity needed to support the 600,000 run rate.

The US automaker said CATL will provide 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 working with LG. Energy Solution and its battery partner SK Innovation.

Ford said it has already sourced about 70% of the battery cell capacity it needs to reach its annual production rate of more than two million by the end of 2026.

To support the battery deals, Ford said it is also sourcing raw materials directly, announcing deals to source most of the nickel needed through 2026 and beyond through deals with Vale SA units in Canada and Indonesia, Huayou China Cobalt and BHP.

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