Ford has announced a partnership with the US government to guarantee its next wave of electric vehicle batteries will be produced domestically.
The five-year initiative, formally announced by the automaker on Wednesday, will help “ensure a steady flow of US-made battery materials to power Ford’s vehicle electrification strategy”, the company said in a release.
“We are determined to live up to our mission of supporting the transportation of choice for our customers and helping transform mobility for our communities, and we will not stop until we’ve provided the best possible customer experience,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of marketing, sales and service, in a statement.
The partnership, announced during the COP24 climate change summit in Poland, is both a new and old move for Ford. The automaker has, in recent years, tried to stay on the cutting edge of the “electric future”. Last year, for example, Ford spent $1.7 billion on Jaguar Land Rover as part of its strategy to shift away from its traditional fuel economy focus to one that offers more flexible drive systems.
One of the key questions for electric vehicles has always been how they can keep batteries healthy enough to sustain a long-term supply for the car. Ford’s partnership with the US government will address that concern by pooling data and providing training for all parties in the battery supply chain.
“The auto industry is constantly evolving and we believe it is critical that we provide the kind of data, support and training that will enable a new era of next-generation battery technologies, which in turn will enable us to more quickly shift our manufacturing footprint and achieve the electrification of the world,” said Lars Jensen, US vice president of supplier management at Ford, in a statement.
“There are more than 60 battery manufacturing plants in the US and there will be more as we move forward to further electrify our vehicle lineup,” he added.