South Korean energy conglomerate SK Innovation Company has signed a preliminary agreement with Ford to jointly manufacture electric vehicle (EV) batteries, according to local reports citing sources close to the companies.

The South Korean reports suggested the two companies were set to announce a memorandum of understanding (MoU) [today, according to US media reports – ed] detailing plans to jointly invest in a manufacturing plant in the US which would help secure a stable supply of lithium-ion batteries for the US automaker’s future EVs.

The announcement was scheduled to coincide with this week’s visit of South Korea president Moon Jae-in to the US and his meeting with US president Joe Biden.

SK Innovation already has a US$2.6bn lithium-ion battery plant under construction in Georgia which has been designated to supply batteries for Ford’s F-150 EV truck and other vehicles.

The South Korean company last month agreed to pay US$1.8bn in compensation to its larger domestic rival, LG Energy Solution, to settle a two year long infringement lawsuit which had overshadowed its EV battery business in the US.

LG Energy has a similar partnership with General Motors with the pair jointly building two EV battery plants in Ohio and Tennessee.

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