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Here’s Why Ford Is Betting on LFP Batteries

JAMES LIPMAN / JAMESLIPMAN.COM

  • Ford plans to offer lithium iron phosphate batteries, known as LFP, in several models including the Mustang Mach-E starting this year.
  • This type of battery composition promises a higher tolerance for faster charging as well as a lower manufacturing cost but features a lower energy density, making it useful for entry-level model variants.
  • The automaker plans to open a plant in Michigan in 2026 aimed at LFP battery production, making it the first automaker-backed LFP battery plant in the US.

    By now many EV owners know the advantages and disadvantages of lithium-ion batteries that use nickel, cobalt, and manganese for cathode materials. They offer a high energy density and quicker recharge times, but are sensitive to low temperatures and are still relatively pricey to produce, even given the years of progress in lowering their manufacturing costs. They are also sensitive to very low and very high states of charge, as well as ultra-fast charging speeds when it comes to battery longevity.

    But NCM batteries, as they are known, aren’t the only type of lithium-ion batteries that can be used in electric vehicles. Ford has revealed this month that it plans to offer lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in some of its vehicles.

    The goal is to offer a less expensive battery with a lower energy density for shorter-range models, but one that has unique performance characteristics such as a higher tolerance for faster and more frequent charging, as well as a higher tolerance for being fully charged.

    This means they can be charged to 100% far more frequently, which is something that NCM batteries don’t particularly like. LFP batteries also reduce the automaker’s dependence on critical minerals, while lowering costs for consumers and reducing wait times for vehicle buyers.

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    Ford plans to introduce LFP batteries in the Mustang Mach-E starting later this year, with the F-150 Lightning due to receive them as an option next year.

    “Ford’s electric vehicle line-up has generated huge demand. We’re delivering on our commitments as we scale LFP and NCM batteries and thousands, and soon millions, of customers will begin to reap the benefits of Ford EVs with cutting-edge, durable battery technologies that are growing more affordable over time,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO.

    What’s more, the automaker plans to invest $3.5 billion to construct what will be the first automaker-backed LFP battery plant in the US, with the BlueOval Battery Park Michigan slated to open in three short years.

    But even before BlueOval Battery Park Michigan opens, the automaker has hinted that it will offer LFP batteries in other models in development at the moment, including ones that will be positioned below the Mach-E. The industry views LFP batteries as a crucial stepping stone in making EVs truly affordable

    “These LFP batteries will power a variety of affordable, next-generation Ford EV passenger vehicles and trucks under development, most of which will be assembled in the U.S,” the automaker added.

    What vehicle segments do you want to see Ford tackle next when it comes to EV models? Let us know in the comments below.


    Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum.

    Read the full article here

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