Ford Motor has signed a series of deals with key mining firms, including BHP and Rio Tinto, for sourcing battery capacity and raw materials to accelerate its shift to electric vehicles (EVs).
The deals are expected to contribute to Ford’s aim of boosting its annual global EV production rate to 600,000 by late 2023 and more than two million by the end of 2026.
Earlier this year, the US-based automobile manufacturer increased its planned EVs investment from its prior target of $30bn to $50bn through 2026.
It also reorganised its operations into separate units, including Ford Model e and Ford Blue, to focus on EVs and gasoline-powered vehicles, respectively.
Ford president and CEO and Ford Model e president Jim Farley said: “Ford’s new electric vehicle line-up has generated huge enthusiasm and demand, and now we are putting the industrial system in place to scale quickly.
“Our Model e team has moved with speed, focus and creativity to secure the battery capacity and raw materials we need to deliver breakthrough EVs for millions of customers.”
The firm has added lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell chemistry for EV batteries and nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) to its portfolio to boost EV production capacity.
The company said it has secured a cell capacity of 60-gigawatt hours (GWh) to support the production run rate.
In addition, Ford has signed an agreement with Contemporary Amperex Technology to provide full LFP battery packs for the Mustang Mach-E crossovers in North America, as well as the F-150 Lightning pickups.
Furthermore, the company is working with battery partners SK Innovation and LG Energy Solution.
Ford also signed nickel deals with mining firm Vale’s units in Canada and Vale Indonesia, China’s Huayou Cobalt and BHP in Australia as well as lithium contracts with Rio Tinto from its Rincon project in Argentina.
Furthermore, the automaker signed a letter of intent with EcoPro BM and SK On to establish a cathode production plant in North America, as well as a lithium offtake agreement with ioneer from Rhyolite Ridge project in Nevada, US, beyond 2025.
It also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Compass Minerals for lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate from Utah, and with Syrah Resources and SK On for natural graphite from its Louisiana facility.