According to a report from the Maeil of South Korea, Ford Motor Company signed a deal with leading battery supplier LG Chem.  The deal involves LG Chem. supplying Ford with lithium-ion cells for all of the companies future plug-in vehicles.

Ford has previously worked with Johnson Controls-Saft for batteries for its plug-in vehicles.  Johnson Controls-Saft will still be the supplier for cells for the Escape PHEV as well as the Transit Connect EV and a plug-in hybrid vehicle coming sometime in 2012.

The deal with LG Chem. is said to begin in 2012 and it is estimated that LG Chem. will supply cells to Ford at an annual vehicle sales amount equivalent to $446 million per year

According to AutoBlogGreen who contacted Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Moore, Johnson Controls will remain the supplier for the vehicles listed above. Additionally, Moore told ABG that they have yet to officially announce a suppler for the Focus EV and a 2012 hybrid vehicle in the works.

However, Moore did not deny the report about the deal signed with LG Chem. so there could be merit to the story originating with Maeil.

LG Chem. has vested a significant amount of time and money into cell manufacturing in the sate of Michigan and signing a deal with Ford could certainly make good use of their investment.

Look for an update to this story after Ford makes an official announcement regarding the new deal.  The report indicates that Ford will make the deal official at the NAIAS in Detroit this week.

Source:  Maeil via Edmunds.comAutoBlogGreen