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Ford EV Partner SK On Signs Graphite Deal

Though the demand for EVs cooled off a bit in 2023, Ford and its many EV partners – including South Korean battery maker SK On – continue to forge ahead as each works to drive down the cost of batteries and the raw materials that they utilize. Much of this is being accomplished by sourcing those raw materials from different places around the globe – aside from China, where most currently come from – and in that regard, SK On has recently signed deals with companies such as U.S.-based anode suppliers Urbix Inc. and Westwater Resources Inc., with the intentions of beefing up the American supply chain and helping future models qualify for clean energy credits. Now, that mission continues, as SK On just inked a new deal with Westwater Resources – the time, to secure graphite.

SK On has officially signed a conditional offtake agreement with Westwater that enables the manufacturer to secure battery-grade natural graphite in North America. The deal will give SK the ability to obtain a total of 34,000 tons of natural graphite anode products that are processed at Westwater’s Kellyton Graphite Plant located near Kellyton, Alabama between 2027 and 2031, which the company plans to use at its battery manufacturing facilities in the U.S.

Graphite is currently the dominate anode material in commercial lithium-ion batteries, which is one of the four main components for those types of units, along with cathode, electrolyte, and separator. Anode determines the lifespan and charging speed of a battery, which is obviously rather important to consumers and battery/auto manufacturers alike.

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“We will continue seeking partnerships with promising battery material companies in the region,” said Park Jong-jin, Vice President of Strategic Purchasing at SK On. “We are excited to partner with a leading global manufacturer of EV batteries and assist SK On to further establish its U.S.-based supply chain,” added Terence Cryan, Westwater’s Executive Chairman.

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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