Together with the expansion of it plug-in electric lineup, Ford is expanding the list of its lithium-ion battery suppliers.
According to cls.cn (via CnEVPost), Ford China has confirmed that its vehicles will be equipped with batteries from BYD and CATL. The root of the news is Lisa Drake, Ford Chief Operating Officer, who reportedly said: “CATL has started supplying us.”
The report says that the company was already using BYD’s NCM 811 battery cells (not the LFP type, or specifically the BYD Blade Battery) in the Ford Escape PHEV and the locally produced Ford Mustang Mach-E. As we understand, this partnership concerns only China.
It’s quite interesting, as in Europe, the Ford Kuga PHEV (the cousin of Ford Escape PHEV) was equipped with Samsung SDI battery cells, that were the reason of Ford (and BMW) battery recalls. We believe that also the Ford Escape PHEV in the U.S. has Samsung SDI battery cells.
There is no info as to which models will be powered by CATL-batteries and by what type, as the company offers various chemistries.
Other Ford battery suppliers are LG Chem’s LG Energy Solution, SK Innovation’s SK On and according to the report, also Panasonic. That would be six in total.
In the U.S., Ford has established the BlueOvalSK joint venture with SK Innovation, which will build three 43 GWh plants (one in Tennessee and two in Kentucky). That would be 129 GWh per year total, which makes the South Korean supplier the strategic one.
The global battery supply target set by Ford is 240 GWh per year by 2030. Who knows, it might actually be more than that as Ford is doubling its projections and would like to go beyond that, but is limited by battery supply.
Ford CEO Jim Farley said recently:
“What I know for sure that we have to build more of? Battery plants.”
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