Monday, September 20

Ford F-150 EV battery suppliers get 10 years of a ban in the US

Ford F-150 EV
Ford F-150 EV

A speed bump has struck the ramp of the Ford F-150 Electric, the veteran automaker’s reaction to upcoming electric trucks such as the Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T, and the Hummer EV. In the United States, SK Innovation, the automaker’s battery provider, received a 10-year import ban on charges of theft from fellow South Korean battery company LG Chem.


According to the International Trade Commission (ITC), for four years starting now, SK Innovation will be permitted to import components for the local US production of the Ford F-150 Electric, which is scheduled to go into production next year. SK Innovation has also given the ITC two years to finance the ramp-up of Volkswagen’s MEB electric car line, some of which will be installed in the US. The grace periods provided to SK Innovation should provide enough time for Ford and Volkswagen to transition to new domestic suppliers.


When LG Chem Ltd accused its fellow South Korean firm of stealing its battery production secrets, SK Innovation’s legal troubles in the United States were caused. LG claimed that over 70 of its former workers were recruited by SK so that it could gain access to confidential data regarding its battery production process and then destroy relevant evidence to cover its tracks.


LG Chem reported that the alleged theft by SK Innovation helped the company to obtain battery contracts worth billions of dollars from automakers such as Ford and Volkswagen.


Any wrongdoing was refuted by SK Creativity, claiming that the information it obtained was not confidential at all. The battery supplier noted that the LG Chem judgment was too harsh a penalty, adding that it would request a veto from the Biden administration as the 10-year import ban could result in delays in the EV adoption plans of the US President.


In a statement, SK Innovation noted that it is still lucky for the grace period of the commission, which should allow it to provide Ford and Volkswagen with batteries. As for Ford, the veteran automaker pointed out that the ITC’s decision against SK Innovation does not mean that it would derail its plans for the F-150 Electric.

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