Ford is aiming to double its investments in electric vehicles (EVs) to $22 billion by 2025, the US carmaker confirmed when announcing its new business figures.
Although the company’s sales were down $2.3 billion last quarter, Ford also announced an increase in its total investment in automated driving to $7 billion, up from $4 billion.
CEO Jim Farley did not, however, announce specific models or technologies. “We are accelerating all our plans – breaking constraints, increasing battery capacity, improving costs, and getting more electric vehicles into our product cycle plan,” said Farley.
Ford is building the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV, Ford’s first purpose-built electric car, in Mexico, but has announced two other fully-electric vehicles too.
First, we can expect to see the e-Transit van launched later this year. Then Ford is also expanding its plant in Michigan to produce an electric F-150 from 2022. In addition, two plants in Canada will be retooled, where electric SUVs for the Lincoln brand are to be built from 2024.
Ford isn’t the only US manufacturer to make a decision to focus on electric. General Motors recently committed to 30 new global electric vehicles by 2025. And the story is similar across the globe, with manufacturers such as Ferrari, Hyundai, Renault, and Jaguar all switching focus to electrified models (both hybrids and battery-electric vehicles).
Ford is building the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV in Mexico.
This is a great step for environmentally-friendly driving. However, while many manufacturers have clear green policies in place, there’s also a cost-saving in switching focus, too. By their nature, electric cars are cheaper to manufacture than cars with internal combustion engines. In fact, Ford estimates that an EV will take 30% fewer hours of labour to assemble than a traditionally powered car.
Indeed, some observers see Ford’s investment announcement as a flight to the front. With its current business, Ford has slipped into the red. For the fourth quarter alone, the carmaker reported a loss of $2.8 billion.
Other figures Ford has now published also highlight the need to catch up. Although the Mustang Mach-E was presented in 2019 and promoted via several roadshows in 2020, production is not yet in full swing. In January, 4,250 units of the electric SUV were built and around 5,000 have been delivered to dealers. However, only 241 had been delivered to customers by the end of January, including just three vehicles in December 2020 and 238 units in January.