US automaker Ford has signed lithium supply agreements with Nemaska Lithium, Albemarle, Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) and Compass Minerals to encourage its electric vehicle (EV) push.

According to the agreement, Canada-based Nemaska Lithium will provide lithium products to Ford over 11 years.

This includes the supply of up to 13,000 tonnes (t) per annum of lithium hydroxide produced at the Bécancour facility in Québec.

Nemaska Lithium will also deliver spodumene concentrate from its Whabouchi mine to Ford. 

Ford EV Industrialization, Model e vice-president Lisa Drake said: “The Nemaska Lithium project will be a sustainable source of lithium, supporting Ford’s ability to scale and helping us make EVs more accessible and affordable over time to millions of customers.”

US-based Albemarle will supply more than 100,000t of battery-grade lithium hydroxide over a five-year period, beginning in 2026.

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The supply is expected to be sufficient for the manufacture of around three million EV batteries.

Albemarle and Ford will also explore partnerships to build a ‘closed-loop solution’ to recycle lithium-ion batteries.

Drake added: “Working with strong global collaborators such as Albemarle, which has well-established operations and a proven track record of scaling facilities, helps us fortify and de-risk our plans for sourcing the key minerals we need to make EVs more accessible for our customers longer-term.”

SQM will deliver battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide to Ford.

Compass Minerals will supply battery-grade lithium carbonate from its lithium brine development project in Ogden, Utah, for five years to the automobile manufacturer.

The company will supply up to 40% of the project’s lithium carbonate after the start of production.

It anticipates an annual commercial production capacity of 35 kilometric tonnes (kmt) of lithium carbonate equivalent when fully operational.

Compass Minerals projects a initial 11kmt phase one capacity of battery-grade lithium carbonate coming online in 2025.