US-based carmaker Ford announced on Friday that it executed an agreement with two companies in Asia to advance nickel production that will help in the manufacture of more affordable electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
The three-way nickel project, involving PT Vale Indonesia Tbk and China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co., aims to produce up to 120 kilotons per year of contained nickel in the form of “mixed hydroxide precipitate,” which is a lower-cost nickel product used in EV batteries.
Commercial operations are targeted to start in 2026 as carmakers join the race for a swift shift to EVs.
The agreement also aims to enhance Indonesia’s EV manufacturing industry and support Ford’s plan to deliver two million EVs by the end of 2026.
“This framework gives Ford direct control to source the nickel we need – in one of the industry’s lowest-cost ways – and allows us to ensure the nickel is mined in line with our company’s sustainability targets,” Lisa Drake, vice president for Ford Model e EV industrialization, said in a statement.
Nickel, one of the critical minerals along with copper, lithium and cobalt, is considered a rare earth element and regarded as an essential component in many rapidly growing clean energy technologies from wind turbines to electric vehicles, according to the International Energy Agency.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE