Automaker Ford Motor Company and global mining and metals company Rio Tinto have signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly develop more sustainable and secure supply chains for battery and low-carbon materials to be used in Ford’s vehicles.
The multi-materials partnership is aimed at supporting the transition toward a net-zero future by supplying Ford with materials including lithium, low-carbon aluminium and copper.
Moreover, it is aimed at allowing Rio Tinto to progress its commitment to work with customers to decarbonise value chains.
Under the agreement, Ford will explore becoming the foundation customer for Rio Tinto’s Rincon lithium project, in Argentina.
Rio Tinto is progressing planning to bring Rincon into production and will work with Ford toward a significant lithium offtake agreement to support its production of electric vehicles.
The companies will cooperate on strengthening 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 hydropowered operations in Canada, helping Ford meet its commitment to the First Mover’s Coalition.
Ford and Rio Tinto will also collaborate on developing secure domestic supply chains for Ford across other essential commodities for the energy transition from Rio Tinto’s operations in North America, including copper produced with a low-carbon footprint.
The MoU 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.
Now, the companies will work together to explore options in the energy transition with models such as Ford’s next-generational full-size electric truck.