A report out of South Korea today is claiming that Ford has signed an exclusive deal with LG Chem to supply lithium ion cells for its future plug-in vehicles. Until now, Ford has worked primarily with Johnson Controls-Saft for its cell supply and the Escape plug-in hybrid test fleet uses batteries from that supplier. In 2009, Ford announced that JCS would be the supplier of batteries for the Transit Connect BEV and the upcoming 2012 plug-in hybrid. Besides General Motors, LG Chem is also supplying batteries to Hyundai for its hybrids.

We checked with Ford sustainability spokeswoman Jennifer Moore, who confirmed that Johnson Controls-Saft remains the supplier for both the Transit Connect BEV and the 2012 plug-in hybrid program. Moore also told ABG that no announcement has been made about a supplier for next year's Focus Electric or the 2012 next-gen non-plug-in hybrid. Moore would neither confirm nor deny the report about LG Chem, so it is certainly possible that the Korean company could be the supplier. If LG Chem, gets the contract it would certainly help the company justify the investment in a new cell manufacturing facility in Michigan.

[Source: Maeil via Green Car Advisor]

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