As the world's biggest automakers ramp up EV production, they are looking to partner with a range of battery suppliers to shore up their supply chains and help meet their production goals. Recently, Ford Motor Company and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) have reached an agreement to advance the production of electric vehicle batteries with a $3.5 billion EV battery plant in Marshall, Michigan.

Dickinson Wright acted as counsel to CATL, the world's largest supplier of EV batteries, in the Agreement. "We are pleased that we could assist CATL in negotiating a comprehensive agreement with Ford that will benefit both parties as they explore new business opportunities to promote EVs and contribute to global carbon neutrality goals," says Mark Heusel, lead counsel and East Asia Practice Group Chair for Dickinson Wright.

In this strategic commercial relationship, Ford, in cooperation with CATL will produce LFP (lithium ion phosphate) cells for Ford's iconic F-150 Lightning and future new platforms. LFP batteries are becoming increasingly popular for EV production as they have substantially better durability than nickel-based batteries and can withstand thousands of charge cycles with minimal degradation. LFP cells also rely on less critical mineral content and are more sustainable.

In addition to supplying the LFP-based batteries to Ford, CATL will actively cooperate with Ford to develop other battery technologies while they explore new business opportunities worldwide. Mark Heusel (Member, East Asia Practice Group Chair, Ann Arbor) served as lead counsel to CATL. The team included William Rosin (Member, Troy), Andrea Arndt (Member, Austin), Deborah Germany (Member, Detroit), and Kevin DeHart (Of Counsel).

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