May 23, 2023 - 02:09 pm

Ford secures lithium for future electric cars


Ford is procuring lithium on a large scale for the batteries for its electric cars. The carmaker now signed agreements with five companies. Depending on the supplier, the first battery-grade materials will be delivered to the carmaker between 2025 and 2026.

A brief look back: In July 2022, Ford announced that it secured enough battery cells for its planned EV production until the end of 2023 – and 70 per cent of the battery cells needed for the targeted two million electric cars by 2026. In addition, the carmaker said it was negotiating several partnerships for procuring nickel and lithium and that several contracts had already been signed.

Now, several commodity companies announced lithium supply contracts with Ford. A deal with Albemarle involves the supply of more than 100,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide between 2026 and 2030, enough for the batteries of about three million electric vehicles. The lithium will be sourced in the US or a country with a US free trade agreement. In addition, the two companies could cooperate on battery recycling.

Two agreements explicitly mention mining locations in the USA – a deal with Compass Minerals secures Ford up to 40 per cent of the lithium carbonate from a new project in Utah. Long-term, it will produce about 35,000 tonnes of lithium brine per year, starting with about 11,000 tonnes in 2025. EnergySource Minerals will supply Ford with lithium hydroxide from a new site in California, expected to come on stream in 2025. The Imperial Valley project will produce about 20,000 tonnes of lithium a year from geothermal brine – though it is unclear how much of that will be delivered to Ford.

Two other agreements concern mines outside the US: the Canadian mining company Nemaska Lithium will supply Ford with up to 13,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year from the plant in Becancourin, in the province of Quebec, over a period of eleven years. Nemaska mines the spodumene at its Whabouchi mine in the north of the province.

Ford has concluded a fifth agreement with Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM). The long-term agreement provides for the supply of battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. Concrete quantities were not announced. What is clear is that the material will be sourced from Chile, thus meeting the requirements of the US Inflation Reduction Act.


Ford has not yet published a statement concerning the various agreements. However, the above-mentioned companies quote Lisa Drake, Ford’s vice president, EV Industrialization, Model e. She emphasises the commitment to sustainability and the better availability of electric cars thanks to the lithium supply. “Working together helps Ford strengthen our plans to help secure the lithium we need and to de-risk our production plans for millions of EVs over time”, Drake is quoted saying in SQM’s announcement, for example.

Currently, Ford offers the Mustang Mach-E, the F-150 Lightning, and the E-Transit as fully electric models. Others, like the Explorer MEB SUV, the E-Transit Custom, and the E-Transit Courier van, are in the starting blocks. Together with SK On, Ford is building three battery plants in the US. However, Ford decided to go with LGES instead of SK On for the battery factory in Turkey.,, (EnergySource Minerals),, (SQM)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Found on
23.05.2023 14:40