Ford has changed its tone regarding the production of electric vehicle batteries, with CEO Jim Farley recently noting large-scale battery production must be brought to the U.S.
The CEO’s statements oppose those of his predecessor, who remarked dedicated battery plants like Tesla Gigafactory Nevada provide no advantages in the EV sector.
In August 2020, then-Ford CEO Jim Hackett said the veteran automaker would not be investing in EV battery production. This was despite Ford’s numerous electric vehicle programs, such as the Mustang Mach-E, the Ford F-150 Electric and the Transit EV. During the company’s earnings call, Ford’s executives maintained they were content to source batteries from suppliers instead of producing their own.
“The supply chain has ramped up since Elon (Musk) built his Gigafactory, and so there’s plenty there that does not warrant us to migrate our capital into owning our own factory. There’s no advantage in the ownership in terms of cost or sourcing,” Hackett said.
Ford seems to be in a much different place today. Amidst the market’s widespread, ongoing chip shortages, Ford and its peers are facing delays. This, according to Farley, is something automakers must not experience with regards to electric vehicle batteries.
Farley said Ford would be bringing up the topic with the U.S. government.
“We need to bring large-scale battery production to the U.S., and we’ll be talking to the government about that. We can’t go through what we’re doing with chips right now with Taiwan. It’s just too important,” Farley said.
This is a notable departure from the previous Ford CEO’s stance. It does, however, bode well for Ford’s electric vehicle plans, as it indicates...