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Ford and GM Need U.S. Battery Sector to Avert Another Supply Shock

Bill Ford and Mary Barra offer assurances they’re well-sourced — at least for the next few years.

Ford Chair Bill Ford, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Ford CEO Jim Farley and SK Innovation CEO Dong Seob Jee in Frankfort, Kentucky, in September, when the companies announced plans for two battery plants in the state.

Ford Chair Bill Ford, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Ford CEO Jim Farley and SK Innovation CEO Dong Seob Jee in Frankfort, Kentucky, in September, when the companies announced plans for two battery plants in the state.

Photographer: Bloomberg

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After Ford showed off the first F-150 Lightning electric pickups at its plant in Dearborn, Michigan, this week, I caught up with Bill Ford, the chair and founding family scion,  and asked what I confessed was a geeky question: Where will Ford get all the lithium and other metals for the many electric vehicles the company plans to produce?