Ford and Rio Tinto ink battery and low carbon materials deal

Rio Tinto will supply car manufacturer Ford with materials including lithium, low carbon aluminium and copper for use in its EVs

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Ford Motor Company and Rio Tinto have partnered to jointly develop more sustainable and secure supply chains for battery and low carbon materials to support a net zero future.

Under the partnership, Rio Tinto will supply car manufacturer Ford with materials including lithium, low carbon aluminium and copper for use in its vehicles.

Rio Tinto is working on bringing its Rincon lithium project in Argentina into production and will work with Ford towards a significant lithium off-take agreement to support its production of electric vehicles (EVs).

The companies will also work to strengthen the supply of low carbon aluminium for use in Ford vehicles, including metal produced using the zero carbon ELYSIS smelting technology and from Rio Tinto’s hydro-powered operations in Canada.

Rio Tinto Chief Commercial Officer Alf Barrios said: “We are excited to work with Ford to support the transition to net zero by supplying a range of materials it needs for electric and lower carbon vehicles and advance our commitment to work with customers to decarbonise our value chains.

Rio Tinto is uniquely positioned to work with companies like Ford to develop more sustainable, traceable and secure supply chains. We are investing to grow in materials needed for the energy transition, and in technology and partnerships to decarbonise our business and value chains. We welcome the opportunity to strengthen our long term relationship with Ford to support its sustainability goals.”

The latest memorandum of understanding builds on Ford’s relationship with Rio Tinto as a primary aluminium raw material source for its F-150, the world’s first all-aluminium body pick-up truck.

The two companies will now work together to explore the possibilities in the energy transition with models like Ford’s next-generation full size electric truck.

Ford Chief Industrial Platform officer Hau Thai-Tang added: “This is a powerful example of how Ford’s proven scale and industrial expertise can be leveraged to accelerate the shift to EVs. We’re applying years of shared knowledge and a strong relationship to support production of models customers already know and love – and potentially to help create a new generation of EVs for millions of customers.”