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Ford Moves to Boost Battery Supply as EV Demand Rises

The Michigan-based automaker said it was taking steps to secure more EV batteries to reach its goal of making 600,000 electric vehicles a year by 2023 and more than 6 million a year by the end of 2026.

Closeup of the Ford logo on the front grille of a vehicle.
(TNS) — Ford is charging up its battery capacity as a result of strong demand for its new electric vehicles.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, which runs the Chicago Assembly Plant on the far South Side and the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, said it was taking steps to secure more EV batteries to reach its goal of making 600,000 electric vehicles a year by 2023 and more than 6 million a year by the end of 2026.

The company expects its electric vehicle business will grow by 90% through 2026 or more than double the forecasted growth for the automotive industry as a whole. Ford is looking to invest more than $50 billion in ramping up its electric vehicle production during that period.

" Ford's new electric vehicle lineup has generated huge enthusiasm and demand, and now we are putting the industrial system in place to scale quickly," said Jim Farley, Ford's president and CEO and president of Ford Model e. "Our Model e team has moved with speed, focus and creativity to secure the battery capacity and raw materials we need to deliver breakthrough EVs for millions of customers."

Ford is rolling out more electric Mustang Mach-Es, F-150 Lightnings and Transit EVs in the coming years as the automotive industry looks to transition away from fossil fuels.

The company secured contracts and added battery chemistries to deliver 60 gigawatt hours of annual capacity in support of its 2023 EV production goal. It's working on lithium iron phosphate battery packs for Mustang Mach-Es and F-150 Lightnings by early 2024.

Ford said it has already sourced 70% of the battery capacity needed to support the targeted production of 2 million electric vehicles by 2026. It's also directly sourcing the raw materials for batteries, inking contracts with mining companies after the auto industry was roiled by widespread global supply chain disruptions during the pandemic.

"Our team has been actively engaged with partners in the United States and around the world," said Lisa Drake, Ford Model e vice president, EV Industrialization. "We will move fast in the key markets and regions where critical supplies are available, meeting with government officials, mining companies and processors and signing MOUs and agreements that reflect Ford's ESG expectations and underpin Ford's plan to bring EVs to millions."

Ford said demand for electric vehicles is strong and getting stronger. The majority of consumers who plan to buy a car in the next two years said for the first time in a survey that they plan to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle. That's up 11% as compared to last year and 22% as compared to 2020.

"This is our opportunity to win a whole new group of customers, building their loyalty and advocacy as we grow our market share," said Marin Gjaja, Ford Model e chief customer officer. "We're developing the digital and physical services and experiences those new customers expect when they purchase a product that to them is a new technology purchase. Our aim is to combine the convenience of digital shopping with Ford's expertise, scale and the physical presence of our dealers to create the best possible experience for tomorrow's EV owners."

© 2022 The Times (Munster, Ind.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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