Ford will use new battery tech to help it build 600,000 EVs per year

Ford is refining its plans to expand EV production and will rely in part on new battery materials to meet those goals. The automaker now expects to reach a global production rate of 600,000 electric vehicles per year by the end of 2023, thanks in part to lithium iron phosphate battery packs in some of its vehicles, starting with Mustang Mach-Es sold in North America (2023) and F- 150 Flashes (early 2024). The chemistry will expand Ford’s capacity, enable “many years” of use with little range loss, reduce manufacturing costs and reduce reliance on scarcity-prone materials like nickel.

At this 600,000 EV rate, nearly half (270,000) of the vehicles produced will be Mustang Mach-Es destined for China, Europe and North America. The F-150 Lightning in North America will account for 150,000 electric vehicles, while the remainder includes 150,000 electric transit vans and 30,000 units of an as yet unnamed European SUV. Ford said it has secured all of the annual battery capacity needed to meet that goal and 70 percent of the capacity needed to meet a more ambitious goal of 2 million electric vehicles per year by the end of 2026.

The news comes just hours after a report that Ford could cut up to 8,000 jobs to fund its EV plans. The brand recently split into combustion and electric vehicle divisions to support the transition to electric mobility and has committed to spending $50 billion on electrification.

Ford had previously floated the production target of 600,000 EVs. However, battery developments and the tightening time frame paint a clearer picture of how this growth will take place. From the looks of it, the pressure on the company to ramp up production is mounting. It only built 27,140 EVs in 2021 and has a significant backlog — you can’t even place a standard retail order for the 2022 Mach-E “due to high demand.” In a way, the improved scale serves both to catch up and to prepare for an all-electric future.

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