In recent times, LFP lithium-ferrophosphate batteries have been a very real alternative to the more common lithium-ion batteries used by the vast majority of electric cars in the world. However, the evolution in technology has made it possible to match its qualities, or at least make them so negligible as to compensate for the loss of density. In this situation, Ford has opened the door to the use of LFP batteries for its electricas they themselves have made clear.
During the last meeting to present the economic results of the first quarter of the year, the CEO of Ford, Jim Farley, was asked about LFP batteries, and the answer was: “We have been working on LFP batteries for quite some time, so let’s leave it. So. What I mean by that is that designing LFP solutions in our first generation electrics is something that we see as a great opportunity to move quickly.”
That is Ford has developed LFP batteries advanced enough to be used in electric cars. Not only in the futures, but also in those that are already in the range. That would mean that the Ford Mustang Mach-e and the Ford F-150 Ligthning would already be in a position to use battery modules different from the current ones. At least in some access versions, something that other manufacturers such as Tesla itself are already doing.
A few weeks ago, Elon Musk announced that almost half of the Tesla Model Ys circulating in the world use an LFP battery structure. For years this option has been discarded due to a reduction in battery density, which causes lower performance and a loss of autonomy. However, the difficulty in acquiring materials such as nickel or cadmium, in addition to their prices, has made many manufacturers look favorably on the use of lithium-ferrophosphate batteries.
If the integration of a new battery format in Ford’s electric range takes place, everything indicates that it would be the access versions that would receive the LFP batteries. In more performance models such as the Mustang Mach-e GT or the most powerful versions of the F-150 Lightning, the current lithium-ion batteries would continue to be applied. Thanks to this, the price of access to the electric range could be reduced, something that will relieve many customers who have seen how in recent days the price of the Mustang Mach-e has skyrocketed.
Such is the market situation, due to price and supply, that in the coming months we will see more changes like the one Ford is planning to make. Unlike previous years, the price of batteries has risen again in the last year. The pandemic, the conflicts in Europe and the difficulty that the markets are going through have broken the downward trend of batteries. Giants like CATL are already working on a new generation of LFP batteries that will further reduce the technical gap that separates them from lithium-ion batteries.