Ford is planning on bringing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries to its lineup of first generation electric vehicles sooner rather than later.
During Ford’s recent Q1 earnings call, CEO Jim Farley said the company has been working on the plan “for quite some time,” adding that he hopes to be able to bring the new batteries to the Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, and their e-Transit commercial van “quickly.”
“We’ve been working on LFP for quite some time, so let’s just leave it at that,” Farley said. “What I mean by that is, engineering LFP solutions in our first generation of products, something that we see as a big opportunity and to move quickly.” (via Ford Authority)
LFP batteries are cheaper to produce than the current batteries which contain nickel, a raw material that has seen its price increase substantially in recent months. There are also benefits for consumers because they can be charged to 100% on a daily basis without impacting the longevity of the battery.
They are also more energy dense, resulting in lower range making them ideal for shorter range EVs. A shift to LFP batteries would free up more of Ford’s supply of nickel-based batteries to be used in their longer range EVs as they ramp production of both the Mach-E and Lightning.
Ford is targeting to produce 150,000 Lightning trucks next year.
Farley didn’t comment on who would produce their LFP batteries. Tesla currently receives their supply from China’s CATL. Tesla shifted to an LFP battery chemistry for its lineup of Standard Range vehicles last year.
Ford isn’t the only new entrant to the EV marketplace hoping to add LFP batteries. Rivian also recently announced plans to shift to LFP batteries in some of their upcoming configurations, and their Amazon delivery van.