There’s a torrent of reports about Ford Motor Firm this week, so let’s get you caught up on current developments. Ford this week introduced a long-term contract with EnergySource Minerals to buy the lithium it must manufacture batteries for electrical autos. As well as, throughout the firm’s Capital Markets Day — the primary in-person convention for buyers the corporate has held since 2016 — the corporate recommended it’s contemplating mounted, non-negotiable pricing, not less than for some fashions.
Ford & EnergySource Minerals
In a press launch on Could 22, EnergySource Supplies introduced it has signed a long-term contract with Ford to provide it with lithium hydroxide produced at its Undertaking ATLiS facility situated in California. That facility is anticipated to develop into operational by 2025.
Key to Undertaking ATLiS is ESM’s patented ILiAD platform, which can effectively course of lithium from brine sources, significantly the geothermal brine within the Salton Sea Geothermal Useful resource Space. ATLiS will connect with an current geothermal energy facility and take away the lithium from the brine after it has been used to generate geothermal energy. The ILiAD expertise will dramatically cut back the water footprint in comparison with various approaches, is not going to devour reagents, may have a for much longer working life, and can obtain greater lithium restoration charges than are presently attainable.
Utilizing solely a fraction of the carbon, water, and land footprint of some other operation on this planet, Undertaking ATLiS will set a brand new commonplace in sustainable lithium manufacturing, the corporate stated. The venture will maximize lithium output in a closed-loop setting and goals to ship vital discount in time, price, and environmental influence in contrast with various approaches.
“We’re delighted to announce this contract with Ford Motor Firm,” stated Eric Spomer, CEO of EnergySource Minerals. “The home provide chain for EVs in the USA is taking form, actually from the bottom up. Ford is embracing a home, sustainable commonplace for EV manufacturing and we’re proud to play a component in constructing America’s clear vitality provide chain. With our versatile ILiAD platform we look ahead to supplying lithium to producers like Ford. Furthermore, by deploying our ILiAD expertise to brine sources the world over, we’ll allow an extra provide of sustainably produced lithium extra broadly,” he added.
Undertaking ATLiS in California’s Salton Sea is anticipated to provide roughly 20,000 metric tons of lithium yearly — quadruple the present U.S. provide of home lithium and sufficient to fabricate about 500,000 EVs per yr.
Lisa Drake, vp of EV industrialization for the Mannequin e division of Ford, added, “We’re working with promising corporations similar to ESM to assist assist our skill to scale EV manufacturing and make EVs extra accessible for patrons over time. The work we’re doing with ESM is vital to rising our entry to minerals similar to lithium, which is crucial to Ford’s EV development.”
Geothermal energy crops extract naturally heated water from deep underground and use it to warmth buildings or generate electrical energy. Afterwards, it’s pumped again into the bottom to be reheated. EnergySource Supplies just isn’t the primary firm to consider extracting lithium from geothermal crops earlier than it’s pumped again underground, but it surely’s one of many first to create expertise to make the concept commercially viable.
In a current interview with Bloomberg, Ford CEO Jim Farley stated he needs to see the corporate return to being extra vertically built-in, following within the footsteps of Henry Ford. This settlement with ESM is a step in that course.
Fastened Pricing For Ford?
As a part of the sled canine crew right here at CleanTechnica, I typically get emails from folks asking me if I wish to interview this muckety muck or that honcho. With out exception, I ask for no matter info they need to share with me to be submitted in writing. I’ve realized from expertise that after I try to transcribe oral conversations, disagreements happen between the speaker and the spoken to.
One thing related occurred this week because of the Ford Capital Markets Day presentation. Kelley Blue E-book says the Related Press is reporting that Jim Farley instructed the viewers, “Ford will go to non-negotiated automobile costs.” However the Detroit Free Press heard it otherwise. It claims Farley stated, “Non-negotiated costs can be a part of enhancing the client expertise for electrical automobile buyers.”
Farley hinted about mounted costs for EVs final yr when Ford instructed its sellers to resolve whether or not they need to be on the forefront of the EV revolution or desire to take a wait-and-see perspective. The consensus right here at Casa CleanTechnica is that Farley meant mounted costs for EVs, not standard automobiles, however how that may play out in Ford showrooms is unclear. Maybe they are going to be divided into two components, one with boxing gloves hanging above the doorway and the opposite with playful kittens overhead.
The Related Press studies Farley promised to “cut back funding in hyper-competitive market segments similar to 2-row smaller SUVs.” He indicated Ford would favor to focus on market segments the place rivals should not bashing every others’ brains in attempting to promote a zillion automobiles with razor-thin margins.
As an alternative, anticipate Ford to focus on pickup vans and business autos together with its iconic Mustang and its battery electrical variant, the Mustang Mach-E. Farley did point out a three-row, seven-passenger electrical SUV could also be within the offing, which might compete with the Hyundai Ioniq 7 and Kia EV 9. And the mannequin lineup for Europe will comply with its personal path, as the corporate has not too long ago introduced a brand new midsize Ford Explorer for European clients that’s significantly smaller that the Explorer North American clients are used to. It’s instructive to notice that Ford has not produced a sedan for North America since 2019.
Farley On Batteries
Lastly, in right this moment’s Ford-focused information, The Verge studies that Jim Farley was heard to say throughout the Capital Markets presentation, “I don’t know what’s occurring on this trade proper now.” He apparently was referring to electrical autos coming from rivals with 450 to 500 miles of vary. He might have been referring to the brand new electrical Cadillac Escalade that Normal Motors was hinting at earlier this week.
GM can also be crowing about its Silverado EV pickup truck having 450 miles of vary, however the one technique to make an electrical pickemup with the aerodynamic effectivity of an plane hangar go that far is to stuff it filled with battery cells. The Hummer EV has a 212 kWh battery pack, whereas the Silverado EV makes do with “solely” a 200 kWh battery. The upcoming Dodge REV will provide a 229 kWh battery and a claimed vary of 500 miles.
Greater ranges will necessitate greater batteries, Farley stated. “These batteries are enormous. In case you have these sorts of batteries, you’ll not earn money, so we’ve acquired to begin speaking concerning the dimension of batteries for the vary, the effectivity.”
The Verge editorializes, “Farley is true. US automakers are counting on supersized batteries to energy their equally supersized EVs — specifically, all the electrical vans that may quickly flood the US market. Automotive corporations (maybe rightly) assumed that the easiest way to promote America’s truck-loving inhabitants on plug-in energy is to affect a bunch of pickups. And large vans want large batteries to justify big selection to deal with anxiousness any truck patrons might have about switching sides to electrical.”
Amen to that. One thing is critically out of whack right here. These pickup vans would require sufficient battery cells to energy 3 peculiar electrical automobiles in North America, 4 or extra in Europe, and 10 in China. America could also be distinctive, however that’s not the identical as being good.
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