The big winners at the Ford Electric Vehicle event: Lithium miners.

Ford Motor Company wants to make millions of electric cars this decade. This will require the purchase and processing of a range of materials that are not common in gasoline-powered cars.

Ford Motor (ticker symbol: F) on Monday is hosting an event for investors and analysts in Dearborn, Michigan, and before it begins, the automaker announced several supply chain deals. Most of it was related to obtaining lithium, a key component in the batteries needed for electric vehicles.

For starters, Ford announced a deal with a SQM miner (SQM) to supply lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. Carbonates and hydroxide are the products of lithium used in the manufacture of batteries. The most quoted price for lithium products is lithium carbonate, which is about $30,000 a metric ton these days.

“Working with strong global collaborators like SQM will help us make real progress in bringing electric vehicles more accessible to our customers on the road,” said Lisa Drake, Ford vice president of electric vehicle manufacturing in the Model e division. “SQM has established well-run operations, a commitment to sustainability, and a proven track record of capacity expansion.”

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SQM is one of the largest lithium producers in the world. So is Albemarle (ALB). It also announced a deal with Ford on Monday to supply the automaker with more than 100,000 metric tons of “battery-grade lithium hydroxide for approximately 3 million future Ford EV batteries.” The five-year supply agreement begins in 2026 and runs through 2030.

“As demand for electric vehicles grows in the United States, our customers are seeking to regionalize their supply chain for greater security, sustainability, and lower costs,” Eric Norris, president of Albemarle Energy Storage, said in a statement. “This agreement embodies the required industrial cooperation and investments.”

These kinds of deals help both Ford and the lithium miners. Ford wants a secure supply of well-known players. Miners want to know that demand for products will materialize as they expand production. The global lithium projection is expected to increase five to sevenfold between now and 2030 as the number of electric vehicles on global roads rises from about 30 million to about 350 million.

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“Sourcing is among the company’s most strategic capabilities,” CEO Jim Farley said at the event. In fact, when you start outsourcing and designing yourself that you’ve never done before…or [competitors] Going through the same transformation…it turns out to be a super strategic supply chain. ”

Ford is part of that condensation. The 120-year-old automaker plans to produce electric cars with a run rate of about 600,000 by the end of this year and a run rate of 2 million per year by the end of 2026. That’s a steep climb. Ford has sold fewer than 100,000 electric vehicles globally in 2022. To meet its goals, Ford is spending billions on vehicle development, new assembly capacity, and battery plants.

Ford also announced agreements with Nemaska ​​Lithium and Compass Minerals (CMP) on Monday. Nemaska ​​will provide the lithium hydroxide produced from assets in Quebec. Compass will supply the lithium carbonate from assets in Utah.

Nemaska ​​is a joint venture backed by Livent (LTHM) and the investment arm of the Quebec government.

Accords have stock that moves. Compass, Albemarle and SQM shares rose 0.6%, 1.3% and 0.2%, respectively. Livent are down 1.9%. the

Standard & Poor’s 500

It rose 0.2%. the

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Dow Jones Industrial Average

decreased by 0.2%.

Ford stock fell 0.8%.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]

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