Ford Motor Co. has its sights set on a “closed-loop” recycling process for its electric vehicle (EV) batteries as the OEM presses forward with its investment in an electric future.
“We believe that a circular economy, a ‘closed loop’ recycling process, is important,” George Goddu, aftersales strategy lead for battery electric vehicles at Ford, said during Cox Automotive’s EV Battery Summit yesterday.
“We have our own operations elements and our [own] product elements,” Goddu said, “but we’re also working with different government entities such as the California Environmental Protection Agency and industry stakeholders to develop regulatory strategies that can achieve those sustainability and environmental goals in ways that, frankly, can reduce the cost of [electric vehicles] and promote their adoption.”
All the batteries Ford uses in its electric vehicles are currently recyclable, Goddu said, noting that the OEM handles batteries returned to them “through responsible recycling,” and suggests options for out-of-warranty batteries.
Ford Ion Park, the OEM’s forthcoming collaborative learning laboratory dedicated to EV batteries, will also play a key role in further developing and maintaining a closed-loop recycling process, Goddu said.
“They’re also engaged with partners and technology providers on what’s the best way to make sure that our batteries will be recycled, and in that closed loop,” Goddu said.
Ford has continued to double-down on its investment in EVs. On Monday, the OEM announced in conjunction with SK Innovation it was investing $11.4 billion for two new battery and vehicle production plants in Kentucky and Tennessee that will create over 11,000 new jobs. Production is slated to begin in 2025.
“These investments build on Ford’s recent announcements that it will work with Redwood Materials on closed-loop domestic battery recycling and make a new investment to increase production of the F-150 Lightning pickup in Dearborn, Michigan, starting next year,” according to a Ford statement.
Electric vehicle batteries have become an increased focus for the auto finance industry as the larger automotive industry moves ahead with ambitious vehicle electrification plans. EV batteries will likely play a key role in calculating vehicle residual values and risk-based pricing on loans and leases. Ford Motor Credit already created in June 2020 a financing product, called the Ford Option, for its all-electric Mach-E.
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