20th July 2024

There’s a torrent of stories 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 automobiles. As well as, through the firm’s Capital Markets Day — the primary in-person convention for traders the corporate has held since 2016 — the corporate advised it’s contemplating mounted, non-negotiable pricing, no less than for some fashions.

Ford & EnergySource Minerals

In a press launch on Might 22, EnergySource Supplies introduced it has signed a long-term contract with Ford to produce it with lithium hydroxide produced at its Undertaking ATLiS facility situated in California. That facility is predicted to grow to be operational by 2025.

Key to Undertaking ATLiS is ESM’s patented ILiAD platform, which can effectively course of lithium from brine assets, notably the geothermal brine within the Salton Sea Geothermal Useful resource Space. ATLiS will hook up with an present 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 eat reagents, may have a for much longer working life, and can obtain larger lithium restoration charges than are at the moment attainable.

Utilizing solely a fraction of the carbon, water, and land footprint of another operation on the earth, Undertaking ATLiS will set a brand new customary in sustainable lithium manufacturing, the corporate stated. The venture will maximize lithium output in a closed-loop atmosphere and goals to ship vital discount in time, value, and environmental affect 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 US is taking form, actually from the bottom up. Ford is embracing a home, sustainable customary 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 stay up for supplying lithium to producers like Ford. Furthermore, by deploying our ILiAD expertise to brine assets 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 predicted 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 12 months.

Lisa Drake, vice chairman of EV industrialization for the Mannequin e division of Ford, added, “We’re working with promising corporations equivalent to ESM to assist assist our capacity to scale EV manufacturing and make EVs extra accessible for patrons over time. The work we’re doing with ESM is essential to rising our entry to minerals equivalent to lithium, which is crucial to Ford’s EV development.”

Geothermal energy vegetation 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 is just not the primary firm to consider extracting lithium from geothermal vegetation 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?

Ford Mustang Mach E

As a part of the sled canine workforce right here at CleanTechnica, I usually 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 discovered from expertise that after I try to transcribe oral conversations, disagreements happen between the speaker and the spoken to.

One thing comparable occurred this week because of the Ford Capital Markets Day presentation. Kelley Blue Guide 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 in another way. It claims Farley stated, “Non-negotiated costs might be a part of bettering the client expertise for electrical automobile buyers.”

Farley hinted about mounted costs for EVs final 12 months when Ford instructed its sellers to determine whether or not they need to be on the forefront of the EV revolution or want to take a wait-and-see angle. The consensus right here at Casa CleanTechnica is that Farley meant mounted costs for EVs, not typical automobiles, however how that may play out in Ford showrooms is unclear. Maybe they are going to be divided into two elements, one with boxing gloves hanging above the doorway and the opposite with playful kittens overhead.

The Related Press experiences Farley promised to “cut back funding in hyper-competitive market segments equivalent to 2-row smaller SUVs.” He indicated Ford would favor to focus on market segments the place opponents aren’t bashing every others’ brains in making an attempt to promote a zillion automobiles with razor-thin margins.

As a substitute, anticipate Ford to focus on pickup vans and business automobiles 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 observe its personal path, as the corporate has lately introduced a brand new midsize Ford Explorer for European prospects that’s significantly smaller that the Explorer North American prospects 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 now’s Ford-focused information, The Verge experiences that Jim Farley was heard to say through the Capital Markets presentation, “I do not know what’s occurring on this business proper now.” He apparently was referring to electrical automobiles coming from opponents with 450 to 500 miles of vary. He could have been referring to the brand new electrical Cadillac Escalade that Normal Motors was hinting at earlier this week.

GM can be crowing about its Silverado EV pickup truck having 450 miles of vary, however the one approach 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.

Larger ranges will necessitate greater batteries, Farley stated. “These batteries are big. When you have these sorts of batteries, you’ll not generate income, so we’ve acquired to start out speaking in regards to the measurement 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 — particularly, all the electrical vans that may quickly flood the US market. Automobile corporations (maybe rightly) assumed that one of the simplest ways 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 handle anxiousness any truck patrons could have about switching sides to electrical.”

Amen to that. One thing is severely out of whack right here. These pickup vans would require sufficient battery cells to energy three peculiar electrical automobiles in North America, four or extra in Europe, and 10 in China. America could also be distinctive, however that’s not the identical as being sensible.


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