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Ford EV Partner SK May Start Producing LFP Batteries In 2026

Though it has adjusted its plans to build lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) batteries amid a general slowdown in EV demand, Ford EV battery partner SK On is still forging ahead in that regard and is also working to develop the next generation of batteries – solid-state units – as it aims to be come profitable this year. This slowdown also impacted the joint venture between SK and Ford – BlueOvalSK – as it will still build two battery plants in Kentucky, but only one will be used when production begins in 2025. Now, SK On is potentially set to begin mass producing LFP batteries for automakers starting in 2026, according to Reuters.

“We developed it, and we are ready to produce it. We are having some dialogue with OEMs who will take our LFP,” SK On Chief Administrative Officer Choi Young-chan told Reuters at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. “Maybe if the dialogue is successful, we can make it in 2026 or 2027. We are flexible.” The Ford Mustang Mach-E began offering an LFP option for standard range models in 2023, while the Ford F-150 Lightning is also expected to add one this year.

This is the first time SK has shared details pertaining to the timing of its LFP mass production efforts, a chemistry that’s expected to help reduce the costs of future models. SK On is already talking to several automakers as it seeks to line up deals for its new battery packs, which are not only cheaper to produce, but also contain fewer raw materials – such as cobalt – that have faced supply chain issues in recent years. The problem for SK On, it seems, is figuring out where these batteries can be built so that they can be priced competitively.

SK On Oxide-Based Solid Electrolyte Solid State Battery

“The biggest challenge is cost,” Choi said. “We have to compete with the Chinese LFPs. Maybe it’s not easy. So, we are not focusing on the price itself. We are focusing on the energy density, the charging time, efficiency. So, we have to find out those kind of OEMs who need our competitiveness. When you build up the LFP factory plants in the United States, it costs too much…when it comes to LFP, we do not look at the U.S. market at all. We are focusing on the European market.”

We’ll have more on SK On 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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Comment

  1. willy

    I’ll pay the extra cost if its mad in the USA

    Reply

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