Ford Authority

Ford EV Battery Partner SK On Monitoring Situation In Chile

With automakers and suppliers scrambling to secure the raw materials needed to significantly ramp up all-electric vehicle production in the coming years – as well as reduce dependence on China to secure those materials – Ford has already signed joint-venture agreements and various other types of deals with companies from all over the world. That includes South Korean EV battery maker SK On, which already supplies those units to The Blue Oval, and will partner with it to build batteries at the under-construction BlueOvalSK Battery Park in Kentucky. SK has been on its own mission to secure raw materials from different countries lately, though its efforts to do so in Chile may be impacted by its decision to nationalize the lithium supply there, according to Reuters.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Chile President Gabriel Boric recently revealed that the country plans to create a state-owned lithium company that will control what is currently the world’s largest reserve of that critical raw material, in an effort to both boost its economy and protect the environment. Chile – the second largest lithium producer in the world – will effectively transfer control of those operations from SQM and Albemarle to a separate, state-owned company.

However, Chile won’t be terminating its current contracts with those companies, which are set to expire in 2030 and 2043, respectively, though it hopes that both will be open to amending their agreements. For now, SQM hasn’t commented on the matter, while Albemarle said that the decision will have “no material impact on our business.”

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

SK On currently holds a long-term supply contract with SQM, and stated that it will be monitoring this development and plans to respond with a “long-term view,” while analysts predict that the move will prompt companies to shift future lithium investments to other countries, given the more complicated nature of state-involved contracts.

We’ll have more on Ford’s joint-venture partners soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for continuous 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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  1. RWFA

    When the democratically elected Iranian PM tried to do this, rather than amending contracts, the British and Americans launched a coup against him and installed the shah. The rest of this diverted and stupid timeline is history.

    Hopefully contracts will be amended this time.


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