Can Ford become the world’s second-biggest electric car maker in just two years?
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Dearborn, Michigan - Ford is hoping to become the world’s second biggest maker of electric vehicles in just two years from now, a top company executive said recently. This would be made possible by an annual production capacity of nearly 600 000 units.
The carmaker's optimism stems from increasing demand for its new Ford F-150 Lightning pick-up, with retail reservations approaching the 200 000 mark, according to COO of Ford North America, Lisa Drake.
Reuters reported last week that Ford would likely be vying with Stellantis for third place in the EV race by 2025, behind Tesla and the Volkswagen Group, based on production forecast data provided by AutoForecast Solutions.
Speaking at an investor conference, Drake said Ford is working to vertically integrate more EV components, including power electronics and e-drives, at existing facilities that build parts for combustion vehicles - a modern take on founder Henry Ford's pioneering work in building many of his own components.
"We haven't used 'vertical integration' in this industry in a long time," Drake said, but "you're going to hear it a lot more" as Ford and other carmakers transition from combustion to electric vehicles.
She said Ford was working with five global battery suppliers to manufacture and help develop battery cells for its future EVs, with the aim of building 240 gigawatt-hours of production capacity around the globe by 2030. Those suppliers include SK On, LG Energy Solution, CATL, BYD and Panasonic.
Ford expects to reduce EV battery cell cost to $80 (R1280) per kilowatt-hour at the pack level "well before the end of the decade," Drake said.
Ford is looking at different cell chemistries, including cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate, and cell-to-pack structural batteries to help reduce the costs.
Furthermore, Ford and BMW are working with Colorado-based start-up Solid Power on developing solid state batteries, which Drake said should be commercialised "well before the end of the decade."
Reuters & IOL