Ford secures battery supplies for 600,000 EVs a year from 2023
It will also start using LiFePO4 cells in the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning.
Ford Motor said on Thursday that it had reached an agreement to acquire battery packs from a Chinese supplier as it races to ramp up its global production of electric vehicles.
Ford said that it will be acquiring battery packs from CATL which is the world’s largest battery pack supplier.
China produces around 80% of the world’s battery cells. Ford is also working with LG Energy and SK On to build plants in the US to build cells towards making 600,000 EV’s a year by 2023.
Ford is also working directly with mining companies to purchase raw materials from various countries. Ford was slow to make EV’s but is now picking up the pace quite rapidly – with Mustang Mach-E and F150 Lightning.
Ford is also diversifying the types of batteries it is using. CATL will supply battery packs that use lithium iron phosphate, or LFP, battery cells that Ford will use to produce Mustang Mach Es in North America starting next year, and for F-150 Lightnings in 2024.
Ford said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with CATL to discuss further cooperation for batteries for Ford’s operations in China, Europe and North America. It added that it planned to add a North American source of LFP cells by 2026, but didn’t provide details.
Tesla has also recently begun relying more on LFP batteries, which cost less than batteries that rely on raw materials like nickel but cannot hold as much energy. Ford said it expected the LFP cells to reduce battery material costs by 10 to 15 percent over cells it currently uses that include nickel, cobalt and manganese, or NCM.
The company said LG Energy Solution was increasing production of NCM batteries cells at a plant in Poland to provide batteries for the Mustang Mach E and E-Transit van.
SK On is working to increase output of NCM cells at its Georgia plant for the F-150 Lightning, Ford said. SK On and Ford previously announced plans to build two battery plants in Kentucky and a third in Tennessee.