DETROIT – Ford Motor should be selling enough electric vehicles in North America to produce its own battery cells domestically by 2025, an executive with the automaker told CNBC.
The timeline is the most detailed Ford has given for EV battery production, which Wall Street is closely watching, and it’s a reversal in the company’s strategy under former CEO Jim Hackett. Producing battery cells internally is expected to be key for automakers to cut costs of EVs and secure sourcing for an expected surge in demand this decade.
“We don’t have to scale today to justify our own dedicated battery plant,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, said in an interview Monday morning. “But by 2025, as we bring on the F-150, the E-Transit and another battery electric vehicle that we’ve announced, we’ll have enough volume in North America to justify our own plant.”
The exact timing of production hinges on the EV market, consumer demand as well as R&D progress, according to Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake. The company, she said, “could be in a position” to be producing its own EV cells by 2025.
Ford’s been cautiously adding EVs to its lineup, launching its first new all-electric car – the Mustang Mach-E – in the U.S. at the end of last year. The company expects to follow it with an all-electric Ford Transit van later this year and an EV version of the Ford F-150 pickup by mid-2022. The company has not disclosed details of another new EV mentioned by Thai-Tang.