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 autos. As well as, throughout the firm’s Capital Markets Day — the primary in-person convention for traders the corporate has held since 2016 — the corporate urged it’s contemplating fastened, non-negotiable pricing, no 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 produce it with lithium hydroxide produced at its Venture ATLiS facility positioned in California. That facility is predicted to turn into operational by 2025.
Key to Venture 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 connect 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 know-how 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 increased lithium restoration charges than are at the moment potential.
Utilizing solely a fraction of the carbon, water, and land footprint of every other operation on this planet, Venture ATLiS will set a brand new customary in sustainable lithium manufacturing, the corporate mentioned. The undertaking will maximize lithium output in a closed-loop surroundings and goals to ship important discount in time, price, and environmental impression in contrast with various approaches.
“We’re delighted to announce this contract with Ford Motor Firm,” mentioned 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 customary for EV manufacturing and we’re proud to play a component in constructing America’s clear power provide chain. With our versatile ILiAD platform we look ahead to supplying lithium to producers like Ford. Furthermore, by deploying our ILiAD know-how to brine assets internationally, we are going to allow a further provide of sustainably produced lithium extra broadly,” he added.
Venture 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 akin to ESM to assist assist our capability 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 akin to lithium, which is important to Ford’s EV progress.”
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 shouldn’t be 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 know-how to make the concept commercially viable.
In a current interview with Bloomberg, Ford CEO Jim Farley mentioned he desires 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 staff right here at CleanTechnica, I usually get emails from individuals asking me if I wish to interview this muckety muck or that honcho. With out exception, I ask for no matter info they wish to share with me to be submitted in writing. I’ve realized from expertise that after I try and 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 informed the viewers, “Ford will go to non-negotiated automobile costs.” However the Detroit Free Press heard it in another way. It claims Farley mentioned, “Non-negotiated costs will likely be a part of bettering the client expertise for electrical automobile buyers.”
Farley hinted about fastened costs for EVs final 12 months when Ford informed its sellers to resolve whether or not they wish to be on the forefront of the EV revolution or favor to take a wait-and-see perspective. The consensus right here at Casa CleanTechnica is that Farley meant fastened costs for EVs, not typical vehicles, 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 stories Farley promised to “cut back funding in hyper-competitive market segments akin to 2-row smaller SUVs.” He indicated Ford would favor to focus on market segments the place opponents will not be bashing every others’ brains in attempting to promote a zillion vehicles with razor-thin margins.
As an alternative, count on Ford to focus on pickup vehicles 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 observe 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 in the present day’s Ford-focused information, The Verge stories that Jim Farley was heard to say throughout the Capital Markets presentation, “I don’t know what’s occurring on this business proper now.” He apparently was referring to electrical autos coming from opponents with 450 to 500 miles of vary. He might have been referring to the brand new electrical Cadillac Escalade that Common 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 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.
Greater ranges will necessitate greater batteries, Farley mentioned. “These batteries are big. When you have these sorts of batteries, you’ll not generate income, so we’ve bought to begin speaking concerning the dimension of batteries for the vary, the effectivity.”
The Verge editorializes, “Farley is correct. US automakers are counting on supersized batteries to energy their equally supersized EVs — specifically, all the electrical vehicles that may quickly flood the US market. Automobile corporations (maybe rightly) assumed that the easiest way to promote America’s truck-loving inhabitants on plug-in energy is to impress a bunch of pickups. And massive vehicles want massive batteries to justify big selection to deal with nervousness any truck consumers might have about switching sides to electrical.”
Amen to that. One thing is critically out of whack right here. These pickup vehicles would require sufficient battery cells to energy 3 bizarre electrical vehicles 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 sensible.
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