Upside Down, Ford CEO Says Company Explores Electric Vehicle Battery Production
A new managerial regime to Ford (NYSE: F) signals a new attitude in the automaker’s relationship with electric vehicle (EV) batteries. At the Reuters Automotive Summit, recently installed CEO Jim Farley revealed that the company is now planning to produce its own battery cells for increasingly popular vehicles.
“We are talking [battery] cell manufacturing, ”he said bluntly in his remarks at the conference, which ended on Friday. “I think it’s natural because [EV] the volume increases. “
This contrasts sharply with the position of Farley’s predecessor, Jim Hackett. In July, less than three months before resigning his post, Hackett said there was “no benefit” to Ford producing proprietary electric vehicle batteries.
This policy differentiated Ford from many well-known peers in the automotive industry. For example, the titan of American industry, General Motors, devotes heaps of capital and resources to such products, while Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) powers its vehicles with Tesla-branded batteries (although these are manufactured in partnership with third-party manufacturers).
Somewhat incongruously, Ford has big ambitions in the field of electric vehicles. In 2018, he forcefully announced that he would double his investment in such products, coming out with 16 pure EV models by 2022. In keeping with this strategy, the company has just unveiled its first all-electric van, the E-Transit with 126 miles per full charge. This is the EV version of its legendary Transit.
The electric vehicle revolution is upon us, and it’s clear Ford investors are encouraged by Farley’s new and deeper commitment to it. Ford stock closed the day up 4% on Friday, beating the gain of S&P 500 index.
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