Ford gets two lithium supply agreements for EV batteries

DEARBORN–Ford Motor Co. has entered into a long-term agreement with Quebec-based Nemaska Lithium for the supply of lithium products, including lithium hydroxide, over an 11-year period.

Ford also announced a lithium supply agreement with Chile-based Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A).

The Nemaska agreement calls for the delivery of up to 13,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year. The agreement also provides that prior to commencing delivery of lithium hydroxide produced in Bécancour, Nemaska Lithium will supply Ford with spodumene concentrate from its Whabouchi mine. Nemaska Lithium’s integrated project is planned to be the first one to produce lithium hydroxide in Québec.

“We are proud to work with Nemaska Lithium and its partners, Livent and Investissement Québec. 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,” said Lisa Drake, Ford’s vice president of EV Industrialization, Model e.

Nemaska Lithium is committed to the manufacturing and sale of high-quality battery-qualified lithium hydroxide and, like Ford, is committed to establishing sustainable and responsible practices in all its operations. The lithium hydroxide that will be produced by the Québec company will meet high standards of quality and sustainability, with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the lithium industry. The lithium hydroxide produced by Nemaska Lithium should help qualify Ford vehicles for consumer tax benefits under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.

Nemaska Lithium is owned in equal parts by Investissement Québec, the economic development agency of the Québec government, and Livent (NYSE: LTHM), a global leader in lithium technology.

The agreement between Ford and SQM will ensure the supply of battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, essential components to manufacture high-performance electric vehicle batteries. The origin of SQM’s lithium should help Ford vehicles to qualify for the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) consumer tax credit and will help support its plans to produce electric vehicles and expand its presence in the global electric mobility markets.

Carlos Díaz, Executive Vice President Lithium of SQM, said: “We are pleased to announce this strategic agreement and value Ford’s trust in SQM’s ability to deliver battery-grade lithium products sustainably produced in Chile. As one of the largest lithium producers in the world, for over 25 years, SQM has been investing in the technology and development of its own processes to produce high value-added lithium products with one of the lowest environmental footprints in the industry. This alliance will allow both companies to contribute further to the decarbonization of the planet on a global scale.”

Added Lisa Drake, Ford’s vice president, EV Industrialization, Model e: “Working with strong global collaborators such as SQM will help us make real progress on making EVs more accessible for our customers down the road. SQM has established well-run operations, a commitment to sustainability, and a proven track record for scaling capacity. 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.”

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