Ford Authority

Ford Partner SK On Inks Deal With Urbix Inc. For Anode R&D

Ford’s joint venture partner, SK On, figures to play a big role in the automaker’s quest to vastly ramp up EV production in the coming years as both prepare to make batteries at the under-construction BlueOval SK Battery Park. However, just as Ford is working with a vast array of other suppliers, so is SK – a list that includes companies like SQM, Atom Power, Solid Power, Global Lithium Resources, EcoPro, and Lake Resources – as it prepares to invest $22 billion in its U.S.-based endeavors alone. Now, that list continues to expand, as SK On will also partner with U.S. graphite processor Urbix Inc.

SK ON has signed a joint development agreement (JDA) with Urbix Inc. as the South Korean company works to establish a foothold in the U.S. anode material supply chain following the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes EV tax credits for vehicles with materials sourced domestically or from approved partner countries. Last year, China accounted for 85 percent of the total global production capacity for anodes.

Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to develop anode materials customized for SK On batteries, and upon the successful development of these products, the battery-maker will consider sourcing Urbix’s anode materials for its U.S. battery manufacturing facilities. Anode is one of the four main components for lithium-ion batteries along with cathode, electrolyte, and separator, and determines the battery life, charging speed, and energy density of those units. Currently, graphite is the dominant anode material in commercial lithium-ion batteries.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

“This agreement is meaningful in increasing the possibility of securing eco-friendly and high performance anode active materials for use in SK On’s U.S. plants,” said Sun Heeyoung, SK On Vice President in charge of advanced research. “SK On will continue to work to develop anode materials that can maximize battery performance.”

We’ll have more on SK On soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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